POLK COUNTY, Iowa — Police say Trina and Michael Mazza are facing several charges following two separate investigations.
Johnston Police said they were called to the Mazza home on February 15 for an unresponsive child and when they arrived they found that it was an inhome daycare.
“It was an unlicensed daycare through the state which means that it can only have up to five kids in the daycare at a time because of that investigation we found out that there were more than five kids in that daycare at the time and we subsequently filed a charge on the daycare operator Trina Mazza,” Johnston Police Lieutenant Tyler Tompkins said.
Tompkins said they charged Trina with operation of an unlicensed daycare and daycare operations have stopped, but information about the death cannot be released at this time.
“I think it’s difficult for a community to accept something like this obviously it’s not something that’s common in our area and definitely difficult for the parents our hearts in this community go out to the parents of the child,” Tompkins said.
The Polk County Sheriff’s office is also investigating the Mazzas and charged them with allegedly stealing more than $160,000 from Michael Mazza’s dependent adult mother.
Officials say the dependent elderly are more susceptible to this kind of abuse.
“They might not know avenues on the internet to research their credit history or to see if they have any open accounts. So in their time of need when they need medications and transportation because maybe they can’t drive themself, they’re depending on family to take care of them,” Polk County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Heath Osberg said.
Court documents show the investigation began in November 2018 after the victim was notified by her bank about suspicious checks that had been written from her account.
“I’m sure it would be difficult in any circumstance and when it involves family it probably adds that much more stress so we obviously feel for the victims and we hope that through the process that they find justice and get to the bottom of what happened,” Osberg said.
Michael and Trina were arrested on Tuesday and bonded out of jail on Wednesday.
The investigations are still ongoing.