Fugitive Daycare Owner Behind Bars In Nigeria

Authorities: Jessica Tata Charged In Deaths Of 4 Children In Day Care Fire

Published On: Feb 17 2012 02:39:17 PM CST   Updated On: Mar 20 2011 12:32:14 PM CDT
LAGOS, Nigeria -

Fugitive day care owner Jessica Tata, charged in the deaths of four children in a February day care fire in Houston, is behind bars in Nigeria according to her family, KPRC Local 2 News confirmed on Saturday.

Tata, 22, is charged with federal unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. She is also charged with four counts of manslaughter in Harris County District Court, which allows extradition proceedings to bring her back to Houston, Local 2 News reported.

Extradition experts told Local 2 Investigates that the four manslaughter charges allow extradition from Nigeria.

Her mother told KPRC Local 2 that Tata turned herself in to Nigerian police authorities Saturday morning.

Tata is accused of going shopping and leaving children alone in her day care on Houston's west side on Feb. 24. A fire broke out on the kitchen stove of the day care, where oil had been left on the burner, according to Houston Fire Department Arson Squad investigators.

Investigators said she was shopping at a nearby Target store while the kids in her day care were left alone.

She was captured on security cameras at Target leaving the store just five minutes before she arrived home and found the day care in flames. The first 911 call then came in to HFD.

Local 2 News first reported her arrest on the air just after noon Saturday.

HFD Arson Squad investigators told Local 2 Investigates they were awaiting formal word from the U.S. State Department, so that proceedings can get under way to bring her back to Houston with assistance from U.S. marshals.