The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Rob Langrell

What fate should come to daycare owners?


It’s almost undoubtedly a parent’s worst nightmare. A phone call comes informing them that there’s been an accident involving their child.

Hearts drop, minds race, tears flow.

Parents who had placed their young children in the trust and care of Taylor Tots daycare in Portales faced just that this past week. Calls came last Tuesday afternoon directing parents to pick up their babies.

When they each arrived, they found police cars and emergency personnel onsite at the home daycare on South Avenue C. One parent who used the daycare said he figured the air conditioning had simply gone out again — as it had a few weeks ago — before he arrived at the daycare.

Unfortunately, it was much worse — and tragic.

As most know by now, 22-month-old Maliyah Jones had died. Two-year-old Aubrianna Loya remains in critical condition at a Lubbock Hospital.

Mary Taylor, 62, and her daughter Sandi Taylor, 31, are being held without bond in the Roosevelt County jail on charges of child abandonment resulting in death and child abandonment resulting in great bodily harm. The co-operators of the daycare are accused of leaving two youngsters in their care strapped in car seats in a hot vehicle for at least 90 minutes following a field trip to a local park.

The account has garnered intense attention — sad stories like this usually do.

As we at The News posted stories and updates on Facebook as more information was confirmed, readers reacted in a predictable manner. No one can truly know what they’d do if a situation like this directly affected them.

Comments ranged from compassionate to befuddlement to just plain venom-infested.

Here’s a sampling:

• “My heart breaks for everyone affected by this horrific tragedy. The daycare workers obviously made a horrible mistake that will haunt them the rest of their lives. I just can’t imagine their horror when they realized their mistake. It obviously wasn’t intentional and yes there should have been safeguards in place but a true accident.”

• “I’d be in prison for murder (if someone did this to my kids). This is completely inexcusable.”

• Very sad to me that everyone likes to go off on the people when we should be praying for them all. I know the people who did this and they are not evil at all. Yes, they were very negligent. I am not excusing them. I am sure they will pay for what they did, not only physically, but mentally.”

• “When you have kids, yours or not, you check, double-check, count, recount. You just make sure. Praying for all involved.”

• “Wow, I hope someone puts her in a freaking oven and lets her fry! Bring back the electric chair and BBQ that idiot. Prayers for babies and families.”

The Taylors are behind bars now and the wheels of the justice system have begun to turn. They’ve hired an attorney.

If the case eventually reaches a trial, they’ll be hard-pressed to hold it in Portales. In small towns like that, people make up their minds quickly — well before the jury pool is selected.

If they are found guilty or accept a plea bargain in the case, just what is the best sentence?

Some will cite the “eye for an eye” biblical verse. Others will allude to a lack of intent.

No matter the eventual fate of the Taylors, multiple families endured a tragedy that none should ever have to withstand.

In the end, it’s a lose-lose situation for everyone.

Rob Langrell is the publisher of The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact him at:


Reader Comments


Sorry to comment again yet remember how many times I've forgotten my beloved Starbucks on my roof only to hit the brakes and remember!!! WWJD??? Am not religious myself but am asking what would he do in this case??? Have mercy or damnation??? I tend to think he would ask if we had cast the first stone or else!!! May God Bless all and grant us wisdom in this and all matters!!!


While we should not leave these ladies unpunished for this crime I respectfully submit the absence of malice warrants a deeper need than simply trying and sentencing, perhaps a lifetime ban on caregiving and restitution to the families and/or child abuse fund for victims, yet to send these ladies to prison makes a lose, lose situation into a lose, lose, lost situation!!! As human beings these ladies still provide worth to themselves and our community via public service and food banks, churches


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