HOUSTON - It's every new parent's worst nightmare. Your baby is too small to talk to you and tell you what's happening when you're not there. What one woman discovered her nanny doing prompted her to call police. Now that nanny is charged with abandoning a child.
Ferris and Aiden Porter, 10 months old, are perfectly healthy now, but they were born two months premature. When mom Suzy had to go back to work, she decided to keep them home and hire a nanny who could give them her full attention.
"We like her. She was pleasant, very nice," Suzy Porter said, describing Alejandra Mejia.
Mejia, 41, came recommended from one of Porter's friends. Mejia started watching the twins when they were about 4 months old.
Everything seemed to be going well until Porter found a receipt on her kitchen counter for a check cashing business. The receipt listed the date, time and Mejia's name at the bottom -- all the details of a transaction.
"And the time was 1 o'clock in the afternoon when I was at work and she was supposed to be watching them," recalled Porter.
The Ace Cash Express that Mejia went to is just over 5 miles from Porter's home. It takes about 9 minutes to drive there and back, and that doesn't take into account how long she was inside. When Porter confronted Mejia about the receipt, she says Mejia admitted to at least one other errand. She said she stopped for gas.
"Anything could have happened," said Porter. "What if the house caught fire?"
In fact, just three months prior, that's exactly what happened when police said daycare owner Jessica Tata left her home to go shopping with small children inside. The home caught fire and four children died.
Initially, prosecutors said Porter's case would be tough to prosecute because her kids weren't hurt. But Porter knew she couldn't drop it, knowing Mejia might do it again.
"I know this lady," said Porter. "She babysits other people's newborn babies. I would not feel comfortable with myself if something happened with another baby because I didn't feel like reporting it."
Mejia was arrested and charged with abandoning a child. She bonded out of jail the following day on the condition that she has no unsupervised contact with any children under the age of 15 until after her trial.
Davis did call Mejia for the story. She answered the phone and claimed she didn't speak English. When we put a Spanish speaker on the phone to translate, she hung up.
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