Barbourville, KY (WAVE) - A Kentucky daycare owner pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal abuse on Wednesday.
Larinda Tuttle is accused of leaving several children in a hot attic Friday in Knox County.
She made her first court appearance this week. Tuttle said, "I would never hurt children. I haven't in the past, I love children and this is breaking my heart."
State Inspectors went to Great Start Educational Center in Barbourville Friday after they received complaints that the daycare was operating without a license. A police report shows it took nearly 30 minutes for a teenage boy to answer the door and when he did, he said he was the only one there.
Investigators said that was not true. They said they found five children left alone in an attic in more than 100 degree heat around broken glass, exposed nails, and dead birds.
Mary Copley's two daughters were at the daycare. Copley said, "I think they were scared into the attic, if that happened. I've never known Larinda to be anything but good to my children."
According to police, the daycare did not have a license and is temporarily closed. Tuttle faces five counts of first degree criminal abuse.
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