Loaded guns, other weapons found near children at home daycare

MERRIVILLE, Ind. -- A home daycare workers in Indiana has been charged after police find loaded weapons, knives and alcohol within reach of children.

They also found an injured child next to the cache of weapons.

So far, three women who were caring for children here have been charged with felonies.

The Tender Loving Spirits daycare is owned by Tawana Cole operated out of a home near Garfield St and 53rd Ave in Merillville, Ind.

Authorities say they found:

  • Bottles of whiskey and vodka on the floor near the children
  • A loaded handgun
  • A loaded shotgun
  • An assortment of knives

All items were unsecured and within reach of the children.

Merrillville police and the Indiana Department of Child Services responded to the home looking for three missing kids. When they got to the front door, they found a mother who had been called to the daycare because her 4-year-old son had been hurt.

Authorities say Cole refused to open the door.

Police, worried for the safety of the children inside, eventually entered the home through a window and found 15 children and two other women.

They also found the injured boy surrounded by bloody napkins and all of the alcohol and weapons.

Prosecutors say Cole and the other two women will face more than two dozen felony charges.

All of the children, including the three who were missing, have been returned safely to their parents.