Two former child care workers have been arrested in South Dakota where authorities suspect they abused several of the children in their care, sometimes slamming the toddlers down on mats during nap time and stepping on them as they slept, PEOPLE confirms.
At a news conference on Saturday following the Friday arrests, Sam Clemens of the Sioux Falls police detailed the accusations against Teresa Gallagher, 31, and 22-year-old Kenedi Wendt, who both worked at Little Blessings Learning Center in Sioux Falls.
Gallagher and Wendt, who were fired in February after they became the subject of investigation, are each charged with 25 counts of abuse or cruelty to a minor, but neither has had a chance to enter pleas in court.
Information on their lawyers, if any, was also unavailable as of Tuesday morning. They are each held in lieu of $25,000 bond and will appear in court later Tuesday for arraignment.
Clemens said on Sunday that detectives started looking into the women because a parent contacted Sioux Falls police after their son told them one of the women allegedly banged his head on a mat as he was sleeping.
Before long, police learned from other Little Blessings parents that their kids complained about nap time, Clemens said.
“The kids didn’t like nap time,” he told reporters, noting investigators thought that was concerning. But “it all made sense” after investigators analyzed security video from the center, which captured much of the alleged abuse.