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Nanny Horror Stories

When it comes to your kids and their caretaker, you want to know all is safe and sound at home. But do you know exactly what's going on when you're not there? Maybe not, and it might shock you. It's always a bit scary to leave your children in another person's hands—and these stories explain why. Here, we've uncovered five tales of law-breaking, abusive and negligent caretakers who have all come under fire after being caught in the act.

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A Mother's Shocking Discovery

When Lindsay Addison's twins were born prematurely and were not healthy enough to go to daycare, the North Carolina mom hired a nanny and installed a hidden nanny cam disguised as a clock to monitor her twin boys while she was at work. What she saw on the video was shocking; 26-year-old caregiver Stephanie Merrill loosely tucking the 7-month-olds under her arm, letting them dangle upside down from her lap off a couch, and severely neglecting the children. Addison promptly fired Merrill, and police charged her with two counts of child abuse. In July of 2008 Merrill entered an Alford plea in court, which "does not admit guilt but acknowledges that there is enough evidence to convict her of the charges," according to WRAL. Merrill was ordered to take an eight-month child safety course and was sentenced to 30 hours of community service. She was also prohibited from caring for any children other than her own for a year. "She is getting punished for what she did. She has to pay the price," mom Lindsay Addison told WRAL after the plea. "We're happy there's somewhat of a resolution."

Watch what the camera caught below:

WARNING: Video contains disturbing images

NEXT: An Unexpected Danger

An Unexpected Danger

Parents in Jacksonville, Fla. installed a hidden nanny cam after they discovered one of their two toddlers had a black eye that their nanny could not explain. It was only after they fired their nanny of over two years—53-year-old Jeannine Marie Campbell—that they watched the nanny cam footage in horror and contacted the police. According to reports obtained by CBS, their 11-month-old had been "picked up and slung into a playpen, hit in the head with a ball, slapped, hit with a towel, swatted 11 times and kicked" by the nanny, which is clearly visible on the footage. Thankfully, the child suffered only a bruise and split lip. Campbell received 8 years in prison for the crime.

Watch what the camera caught below:

WARNING: Video contains disturbing images

NEXT: Nanny Charged With Cruelty

Nanny Charged With Cruelty

Last month in Florida, nanny Dawn Richards was charged with cruelty toward a child when her employers' hidden camera revealed her hitting, grabbing and pulling the 7-month-old boy left in her care. According to CBS Miami, Richards was hired through the online agency, care.com, which connects nannies to families. "We take the safety of our community extremely seriously, and we are committed to providing families the best tools and resources to help them make an informed hiring decision," said Meredith Robertson, a rep for the site. "We are actively working with local authorities in this matter and our thoughts are with the family."

Watch what the camera caught below:

WARNING: Video contains disturbing images

NEXT: Nanny Steals $30,000

Stole $30,000

24-year-old nanny Jessica Jean Senter had been so trusted by the family that hired her, they gave her a house key, a car to use, a cell phone, and even let her boyfriend come by from time to time while she watched their child. This past May, the Massachusetts family discovered that Senter—hired via sittercity.com two years prior—had stolen over $30,000 in jewelry and other valuables in return. According to the Eagle-Tribune, lawyers insisted this wasn't Senter's first scheme. "This is a scam that she's worked over and over," prosecutor John DePaulo said. "This is unbelievable. She goes in as a nanny, people leave and she steals from them... This is one of the most despicable MOs you'll ever see. These homeowners trusted her." Senter recently plead guilty to the charges and will serve a year in jail.

Held for Ransom

A 21-year-old nanny from Pretoria, South Africa allegedly kidnapped the six-month-old child in her care over a salary dispute in February, demanding thousands of dollars in ransom money from her employer. The nanny, who is believed to have planned the kidnapping for weeks, kept in contact with distraught mother Mita Marobe the entire time she was on the run, asking for ATM PIN numbers so she could buy baby food (or so she claims). Eventually, she dropped the child off at a daycare center, telling staffers she'd be back for him, and took off. "I never thought she could do this," Marobe told IOL News. "She was part of the family. Kgosietsile [her son] loves her and I always thought she loved him." The nanny was still on the run at the time of the report.

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