Apple Creek Learning Center reopened Tuesday in Luther. It was closed Monday so staff could regroup and mourn after the tragedy in the parking lot of the daycare facility on Friday evening.
That’s when the death of four-month-old Presley Ashton Walker was discovered. It was a horrible tragedy in which the grandmother failed to drop the baby at Apple Creek on her way to work; but didn’t realize it until she arrived back in Luther when she thought she was picking up the child.
Oklahoma City television station KOCO reported on Monday that Apple Creek was closed because of threats, but owner Darci Bolner says nothing could be further from the truth. The longtime Luther business owner said she called every one of her parents on Sunday to explain they would close on Monday for a staff time. She said everyone was overwhelmingly supportive and understanding; but many tears were shed together as they all grieved over the tragedy.
Police Chief Marcus Thurman told the Luther Register he “has no idea where that came from,” when we asked about the television report. Bolner said she asked police to have a presence near the facility to ensure that strangers and media did not disturb.
In an email correspondence, the KOCO reporter told The Luther Register that he had talked to Chief Thurman but didn’t have time to pursue the information about threats before he went on the air.
Bolner said Tuesday was going really well although it is incredibly sad. She said she is proud of her teachers and her kids, and that everyone will forever remember sweet Baby Presley. She is grateful to Chris Hill, the minister at the Luther Church of Christ, who shared a spiritual word and prayed with the staff. Bolner said it was encouraging.
The district attorney is handling the investigation and it is unknown whether charges will be filed.
Meanwhile, the obituary posted today for Baby Presley through Lehman Funeral Home in Wellston. Services are pending.
Presley Ashton Walker was born March 21, 2017 in Shawnee, Oklahoma to Devon Rutledge and Sarah Walker. She passed away on Friday, August 4, 2017 at the tender age of 4 months.
Presley was a happy beautiful baby who was always smiling. Presley is preceded in death by her great-grandmother, Thelma Jean Walker. Survivors include her parents, Devon Rutledge and Sarah Walker; grandparents, James and Barbara Walker, grandmother, Linda Walker, grandparents Gil and Kristy Rutledge; great-grandfather, Don Walker; sister, Paisley Cronister; aunt, Delaney Rutledge, uncle Dalon Rutledge, along with her friends from the Apple Creek gang who will cherish her memory.
A memorial service is to be announced. Arrangements are under the direction of Lehman Funeral Home of Wellston.