The initial investigation of alleged physical abuse at Gingerbread House Preschool started with a report a 2-year-old child had been injured, according to a search warrant filed in the matter.
Detective Morgan Worrell of the Roanoke Rapids Police Department wrote on November 13 the mother of the child reported to police her child had been injured while attending the daycare facility.
“She (the mother) advised the injuries were caused by a teacher, Tyesha Pearson,” the search warrant said.
Pearson has been arrested and charged with misdemeanor child abuse in the case. The arrest warrant for Pearson states there was probable cause to believe she caused physical injury to a child and “caused a mark on the child’s body and (the injury) was inflicted by (actions) other than accidental means.”
The search warrant does not mention the other person charged in the case — Olivia Ulrich — who faces the same count as Pearson. The arrest warrant for Ulrich says she reportedly inflicted physical injury on a 2-year-old which caused a bruise to the forehead. The arrest warrant says the injury “was inflicted by other than accidental means.”
The search warrant does say, however, “Since the date of the initial report, the police department has received other complaints of child abuse that occurred at this facility. One of the reports came from the mother of a child who attended the school who advised that her child began coming home with various injuries, including injuries to her ear lobes, which in my training is a common sign of child abuse.”
The search warrant says that mother was instructed by preschool owner Tammy Moseley “to sign a type of waiver concluding the injuries were sustained from her child fighting with other children in the facility. This parent advised she was never told who the other children were and did not receive a copy of the waiver.”
In the part of the search warrant dealing with what was then the potential charge lodged against Pearson, the document says on November 11, the child was in Pearson’s classroom. “The video footage from the incident shows (the child) laying in her cot for nap time but crying. Ms. Pearson then comes into the frame and begins to rub the child’s back. Ms. Pearson then takes her right hand and either pinches or jabs the child in the left side of her body, causing her entire body weight to be shifted in the cot. This appears to cause the child pain as the cry of the child is louder and of a different tone than seconds prior.”
Pearson was terminated on November 12, but not before coming back to work that day for approximately four to five hours, supervising children at the facility.
Moseley, according to the document, advised the child’s parents that she reviewed the video footage the night before, “and found the allegations of Ms. Pearson injuring (the child) to be true.”
Days after the initial investigation, video footage was attempted to be extracted from a DVR but was unsuccessful and the only way Moseley was able to review any prior footage of the facility was on her cellphone.