Man arrested after family found living at Children’s Museum
CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - The Children’s Museum has been a staple of childhood in Carson City for decades, and now a closed sign posted on their door has left many parents with questions.
“How could you not know?” asked Jennifer Trotter.
For the last four years, Trotter’s children have been going to the museum’s summer camp.
“Wonderful learning experiences for my children and they always have lots of fun. I’ve encouraged other parents to sign up,” said Trotter.
However, this year the experience was different. She says not only was the camp starting more than an hour late, but bathrooms weren’t being cleaned, and kids were meditating with crystals instead of learning about the ocean.
“My daughter told me that the lady running the camp, Amber, had let my daughter and her daughter go play outside on the front steps of the museum unattended by an adult,” said Trotter.
After that, she pulled her children out and on June 20 she called the museum’s board president to complain.
“He told me that he would take care of it,” said Trotter.
To her surprise, on June 30th, the Carson City Sheriff’s Office arrested a man on charges of child neglect and danger after allegedly living in the museum and stockpiling weapons.
“Officers at the scene were able to evaluate that the call was associated with a previously known call and that it originated from the Children’s Museum,” said Sheriff Ken Furlong.
Sheriff Ken Furlong says that day deputies responded to a report of a 2-year-old child in need of supervision.
“The child was actually found by a business. He had gotten out, crossed a very busy main artery.”
The toddler’s father is 41-year-old Wilbert Calhoun. Investigators say he and his wife, who acted as the museum’s manager, and their five children, had been living inside storage rooms at the museum.
Multiple weapons, silencers and marijuana were also found at the scene.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Furlong.
“I felt sick,” said Trotter after finding out the news. “That makes me really scared ‘cause I have a seven-year-old boy who would’ve found those things very interesting.”
In a statement, the board of directors said, “we are shocked and saddened that this happened on our watch, and we are working hard to make sure that nothing like this will ever happen again. We are looking into the best path to reopen in a way that not only assures the safety of all of our visitors but that we as a community can be proud of as well.”
Trotter says she has not been the only one to complain about the camp. Parents online have expressed they feel sorry for the family and children and hope someone is held responsible.
“It was never a perfect place but I think parents thought of it as a ‘safe’ place, especially with the lack of places to play in Carson in the summer heat and especially with wildfire smoke,” said a resident who was there the morning of the arrest and wanted to remain anonymous. “On that morning, when we arrived I did notice a man with boxes walking back and forth between the museum and parking lot area. I remember noting it as odd but I ignored it after we walked in.”
Both Calhoun--who was a janitor at the museum--and his wife were fired. According to Furlong, she was not present at the time deputies were dispatched.
The 41-year-old is still in custody.
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