March 19, 2011 / 9:46 PM / 8 years ago

Day care operator sought in child deaths surrenders

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A woman who fled to Nigeria after a fire at her Houston, Texas day care facility that killed four children has surrendered to authorities, her mother said on Saturday.

Jessica Tata, the 22-year-old U.S.-born daughter of Nigerian citizens, was the subject of an Interpol search after the February 24 fire at her home-based day care center.

She has been charged with four counts of manslaughter and other charges including reckless injury to a child and child abandonment.

Authorities say Tata left the children for a shopping trip before the fire broke out.

Her mother Josephine Tata told Reuters that her daughter turned herself at the U.S. Consulate in Nigeria “because it’s the right thing to do.”

She said she did not know when her daughter would be brought back to the United States.

A spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service, which led the international search for Tata, declined to comment.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst

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