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Entries in Jessica Tata (4)

Monday
Mar212011

Houston Woman Charged in Fatal Day Care Fire Returns to U.S.

Fulton County Sheriff's Office(HOUSTON) -- The Houston woman charged in a day care fire that killed four toddlers is back in the United States after being arrested in Nigeria.

Jessica Tata, 22, became one of the U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted Fugitives when she fled from Houston following a fatal fire at her home-based day care center Feb. 24.

Tata was captured in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, by Interpol and U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security agents, according to a statement from the U.S. Marshals.

Tata faces four counts of manslaughter, six counts of reckless injury to a child, three counts of abandoning a child under 15 and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Toddlers Elizabeth Kajoh, Kendyll Stradford, Elias Castillo, and Shomari Dickerson died in the fire at the west Houston home called Jackie's Child Care.

Prosecutors allege that Tata left the children alone in the house while she went shopping, and while she was gone, the fire broke out on a stove-top burner that had been left on.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Mar192011

Woman Turns Herself in Over Fatal Day Care Fire

KTRK-TV Houston(HOUSTON) -- The Houston woman charged in a day care fire that killed four toddlers turned herself in Saturday to U.S. officials in Nigeria, according to her brother.

Ron Tata told ABC station KTRK-TV in Houston that his sister, 22-year-old Jessica Tata, surrendered in Nigeria, where she fled following the Feb. 24 fire.

Jessica Tata, who ran Jackie's Child Care out of her home in Houston, was charged in February with one count of reckless bodily injury to a child, and bond was set at $500,000. But prosecutors realized that Tata had already fled the country.

She now faces four manslaughter charges as well as 10 other charges, including reckless injury of a child and child abandonment.

Toddlers Elizabeth Kajoh, Kendyll Stradford, Elias Castillo and Shomari Dickerson died in the fire at the west Houston home day care.

Prosecutors allege that Tata left the children alone in the house while she went shopping, and while she was gone, the fire broke out on a stove-top burner that had been left on. She told investigators she was in the bathroom when the fire started.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Mar052011

Day Care Owner on 'Most Wanted' List After Fire Kills Four Kids 

U.S. Marshals Service(WASHINGTON) -- A day care provider from Houston, wanted in connection with the deaths of four toddlers, has been placed on the U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted fugitive list.

Jessica Renee Tata, who owned and operated Jackie’s Child Care in Houston, is accused of leaving seven children alone at the day care on Feb. 24 when a fire broke out and left four of the children dead.

Authorities say Tata, 22, is wanted on four counts manslaughter, six counts of reckless injury to a child, three counts of abandoning a child under 15 and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Officials say on the day of the fire, crews arrived on at the scene of the burning day care around 1:30 p.m. and after battling the blaze, firefighters found the seven children inside. Only three of them made it out alive. Authorities say Tata left a boiling pot on a burning stove when she abandoned the children.

After mounting a search for Tata, investigators realized that she had fled the country and went to Nigeria. A reward of up to $25,000 is now being offered for information leading to the capture of Tata.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar012011

Prosecutor Urges Day Care Worker to Return to U.S. and Face Charges

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- A Houston prosecutor denied Tuesday that it botched the investigation into a day care fire that killed four toddlers, but conceded the woman charged in the fire had left the country and urged her return to the U.S. and face charges.

"If you cared at all about those children, then return," Harris County District Attorney Patricia Lykos said in an appeal to Jessica Tata.

Tata, who ran Jackie's Child Care in Houston, was charged Monday with one count of reckless bodily injury to a child and bond was set at $500,000. But prosecutors realized that Tata, who is 22, had already fled to Nigeria.

Lykos said at a news conference Tuesday that nine additional charges will be filed against Tata, including six more charges of reckless bodily injury to a child and three charges of child endangerment.

The DA also issued an alert that Tata's brother, Ron Tata, was attempting to create a business called "Houston Benefit of Daycare Victims" to solicit money.

"I would urge the Tata family instead of... raising money and who knows where that money is going to and how it's going to be accounted for, that they have Miss Tata return to Harris County and face justice," Lykos said.

The prosecutor called Ron Tata's fundraising plans "reprehensible."

Lykos news conference was held amid criticism that investigators had not acted more quickly after last Thursday's fire and allowed Tata to leave the country.

Tiffany Dickerson is furious that prosecutors never questioned or arrested Tata who ran the day care where seven children were left alone and four -- including Dickerson's young son -- died in a fire that started on the woman's stove.

Lykos defended her team's investigation into the case. It took four days to charge Tata and prosecutors never questioned the Texas-born woman.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio