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Mom Finds Bruises on Toddler, Pine Bluff Daycare Worker Arrested

Pine Bluff, Ark. - A Cleveland County mom is demanding answers after she claims her toddler was abused by a Pine Bluff daycare worker.

It's a moment Jamie Morris wishes never happened, seeing video of her two-year-old daughter Hinsley hit multiple times by someone who was supposed to be taking care of her at Ms. Sonya's Child Care.

"I felt so awful that this happened and I had no idea," Morris said. "I was livid. It's every parent's worst nightmare."

On Friday 70-year-old Linda Sawyer was charged with battery. According to a Pine Bluff Police report, video from the daycare last Tuesday shows sawyer "striking [a child] on the back of the legs at least three times." Then police say Sawyer "pulled her free arm back as far as she could and struck [the same child] twice on her back."

Morris says the child in that video was Hinsely and she's concerned police may never have found out about the abuse if she didn't call them.

"I was told that they didn't see anything," Morris explained.

Morris showed Fox 16 text messages she says are from the daycare's owner, Sonya Palmer, saying she didn't see Hinsley get hurt in any surveillance video from Tuesday. Morris says that has her wondering if other abuse went unreported.

"That's something you as a parent deserve to know, where you trust leaving your children everyday," she added.

The only record of alleged abuse at Ms. Sonya's Child Care is the Pine Bluff Police report from the Tuesday incident. Even if another alleged abuse was reported or investigated at the daycare, state law bans investigators from confirming or denying that case. Investigators can only publicly acknowledge a child maltreatment case if criminal charges were filed.

"I wouldn't wish this on anyone," Morris said. "I just hope this was a one time thing."

Nearly a week later Morris says the bruises still mark Hinsley's back.

"She's a little innocent child, she's done nothing wrong in this world besides trust her to take of her during the day," Morris said.  

Fox 16 reached out to the owner of the daycare Sonya Palmer multiple times. Her mother told Fox 16 her daughter is traveling overseas and won't be back until next month.


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