Osage County Babysitter Arrested For Leaving Toddlers Home Alone
OSAGE COUNTY, Oklahoma - An Osage County mother is upset after her 18-month-old twins were left home alone by their babysitter.
She says she wants to tell her story so other parents think twice before entrusting their children with someone they think they know.
“It broke my heart,” Ashley Wallace said, crying. "Those are my babies.”
Investigators arrested 26-year-old Kayla Garrison on Tuesday after court documents show she admitted to leaving 18-month-old twin boys home alone.
She was hired by Wallace, her neighbor. Wallace is a mother of four who is going back to college while her husband works full time.
“I mean that's common sense, you don't leave children alone -- ever,” Wallace said. “Anything could have happened."
Wallace said she decided to come home early on Tuesday. And when she walked inside the house, she found her boys in dirty diapers, alone and screaming.
After calming them down, she said she called Garrison and caught her in a lie.
“She's like, ‘Oh I just dropped the girls off at daycare,” Wallace said. “I was like, ‘how are the boys doing?’ And she goes, ‘Oh they're good, they're just fussy because I had to wake them up to take the girls to daycare.’ She didn't stutter.... nothing."
Then she called authorities, who were waiting on Garrison when she returned. After the arrest, Wallace said Garrison's children went to stay with grandparents.
Wallace hired Garrison two months ago. Garrison lives just up the street and has kids of her own.
She thought hiring another mother to be with her children in their own home would be ideal and safe.
Wallace says she made a mistake by trusting someone she thought she knew. She tearfully regrets that she never did a background check.
Court records show Garrison has a history of cases in Pawnee and Creek counties, and she has been convicted of child neglect and endangerment before, along with larceny, filing false reports and obstructing an officer.
We went to Garrison’s home, but she didn’t answer the door.
“I forgive her, but I'll never forget this,” Wallace said.
Wallace said she'll never hire another babysitter without doing a background check first, even if they are a neighbor she knows.
Garrison appeared by video in an Osage County arraignment on Wednesday and entered a not guilty plea.
She was released on a $10,000 bond. Her next court date is scheduled for March 31.