Saugus home day care had spotless 7-year record

Scene in front of Startree Day care as homicide detectives investigate murder-suicide. photo by Austin Dave, The Signal

Before it was the scene of a murder-suicide that left four family members dead, the two-story house at the north end of Startree Lane was home to a state-licensed child care center.

The Signal has the name of the child care facility; however, a decision was made to not publish the names of the victims pending the release of the victims’ names to the family’s next of kin.

The wife and mother who resided at the address also ran the state-licensed facility inside the home and was authorized to look after up to 14 kids there.

The Signal has been unable to reach anyone at the daycare’s registered phone number, and the state regulatory agency that has oversight of such facilities could not confirm whether the daycare was open Friday, or whether any children or clients were at the facility at the time of the shooting.

A neighbor requested a “check the welfare” call Friday morning, and while investigating the residence, deputies came upon four shooting victims who have not yet been identified, according to Homicide Bureau detectives.

Related story: UPDATE: Homicide investigating suspected murder-suicide at home day care

The daycare was licensed to operate by the California Department of Social Services.

Seven months ago, the woman who ran the facility renewed her year-to-year daycare license to continue operating at the address on Startree Lane.

The day care maintained a spotless track record since it opened its doors to the public, according to state licensing documents and a spokesman for the state’s Social Services Department.

“The home was licensed in 2010. It was last inspected in 2016,” said Michael Weston, deputy director of public affairs and outreach programs for the California Department of Social Services.

“There are no citations in the past five years,” he said.

A review of the file kept by state officials on the day care revealed an exemplary track record, void of complaints or problems.

State officials inspected the Startree Lane day care on three occasions in the last four years and found no problems.  The random inspections were carried out on: Oct. 30, 2013; Feb. 11, 2015 and May 4, 2016.

A section of the state file reserved specifically for complaints about the day care, inviting critical comment from the public, the Startree Day Care listed received zero complaints.

Prior to the tragic shooting Friday, which left a husband and wife dead, as well as their two children, no complaints or problems about the day care appeared on any of the many online sites inviting public review.

Homicide detectives investigating the murder-suicide have not disclosed the identities of the victims.

Jillinda Chandler, spokeswoman for the Community Care Licensing facility run by the Los Angeles Northwest Regional Office of the Department of Social Services, said the day care renewed its year-to-year license on May 27.

The facility which housed the day care is a home purchased in 2004 by the husband of the woman who ran the facility, according to the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office.

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