Cornelius Jones could hear his one-year-old daughter screaming, but he wasn’t able to get to her. It was dark, and he was frantic. So, he dialed 911 and the emergency services eventually got inside the building. But how on earth did all this happen?
Cornelius Jones is a father from Chicago who, one night back in 2015, got the fright of his life. At the time his one-year-old daughter Journee was enrolled in a daycare center called All Things Are Possible For Kids.
On the evening in question, Jones headed down to the facility to pick up his daughter. But when he arrived, everything was not as it seemed. There was something strange about the daycare center, and it immediately made Jones very worried indeed.
Jones had arrived 15 minutes before the childcare facility was due to shut for the day. However, when he got there, the place already looked totally closed up. In fact, all the lights were off inside and the front door was locked.
And there was no sign of Journee. First, Jones rang the doorbell, in the hope that someone would answer and bring him his daughter. But no one did. Next, he called the daycare number, but once again the worried dad was left hanging.
By this stage, Jones was getting very concerned about his daughter. He tried the center’s number again, but still no one picked up the phone. That’s when the frantic father decided to take matters into his own hands. Without a second thought, he began kicking the front door.
However, he still wasn’t able to get inside the locked center. Then, Jones heard his daughter’s voice. She was screaming, and the sound was coming from inside the darkened building. That’s when Jones knew that it was time to dial 911. So he put the call in then got in touch with Journee’s mom, Quanesha Borum.
Borum, who was also Jones’ girlfriend, immediately rushed over to the daycare center after getting the horrifying call about Journee being stuck inside. “I was just trying to get over here as fast as I can because that’s the worst thing that ever could happen, but I didn’t want to happen,” she told Fox 32 Chicago.
Soon, the fire department arrived at All Things Are Possible For Kids. The firemen then got their tools and worked tirelessly to save the one-year-old trapped inside the building. Some dramatic cell phone footage captured the crew trying their best to prize open the door to get to Journee.
Happily, the crew eventually managed to break into the daycare center, but once they got inside, the ordeal for Journee’s parents wasn’t quite over. Jones recalled not being able to find his daughter in the moments after gaining entry to the building.
Journee’s dad told Fox 32 Chicago that he was thinking, “Where is she, where is she?” He remembered being able to hear his daughter’s screams but still wasn’t able to spot her in the darkness. A video taken that night shows the rescue crew searching the corridors for the stranded tot.
But then, thankfully, they finally found her. “One of the police officers flashed a light to the left and flashed it back to the right and that’s when I saw her crawling towards us screaming,” Jones said. “And my heart just dropped.”
A member of the rescue team then scooped Journee up into her arms, finally putting an end to what must have been a very scary experience for the baby – as well as a worrying time for the infant’s parents. Needless to say, Jones was relieved that his daughter was not in any more danger.
But the concerned dad still had some questions about how the upsetting incident had been allowed to happen. “I was glad that [Journee] was okay, but I was like real mad, I was mad because how could you leave a baby in a daycare, how could a child go unaccounted for?” Jones said to the local news station.
Borum too was furious with the center’s staff for leaving her daughter behind at the end of the day. “I come here and I sign her in and out, and so why wasn’t the list checked before everybody left?” she wondered.
All Things Are Possible For Kids, meanwhile, offered no comment to the media, although Jones reportedly spoke to staff there after the incident. He said that they claimed staff were still on the premises when he came to pick up Journee.
Borum also spoke to the director of the daycare facility, who reportedly told the mom that staff had mistaken Journee for a doll. But Borum was not convinced by the explanation. “She’s not that little to be a doll,” she pointed out.
It was only Journee’s sixth day at All Things Are Possible For Kids, and her parents said that they wouldn’t be sending her back. What’s more, they pushed for the daycare center to be closed down on account of its apparent oversight with their daughter.
“If anything it should be shut down, I mean nobody leaves kids behind, toddlers. I don’t care how old they are, that’s dangerous,” Jones argued. Fox 32 Chicago reported that the Department of Children and Family Services had launched an investigation following the incident.
There’s no doubt that what Jones and Borum went through as parents that fateful night must have been horrifying. But thankfully, Journee made it out of the locked building unscathed. The result of the investigation remains unknown.