BRISTOW, Va. (WJLA) - A local couple fired their au pair and say they informed the agency she works for of some very disturbing behavior. But instead of sending the woman back to Germany, the company placed her with another local family.
The couple says the 19-year-old au pair was difficult from the start and after several weeks had a meltdown. After they fired her, they maintain they discovered a series of text messages in which the au pair wrote of murdering their children.
After an investigation, the company that employed the woman, Cultural Care, has been removed from the program entirely, officials said Thursday in a statement. According to the family, the au pair will be sent back to Germany on Friday.
"We acted as soon as we were able to see the offensive text messages on Wednesday," Cultural Care Executive Director Susan Robinson said. "Had we seen the texts earlier, we would never have placed this au pair with another family."
Text messages horrify parents
From the beginning, Rebecca Clayton grew concerned about how her new nanny treated her baby boy and severely autistic daughter.
"She constantly called our child either a retard or an autist, which in German, when you put it in those terms, it is very derogatory."
The Clayton's fired the au pair after eight weeks. During her stay they gave her an iPhone. After she left they discovered a slew of texts in German. The translations horrified them.
"She used the words that she wanted to slaughter our baby," Clayton says.
Clayton says she notified the agency which provided the au pair about the texts and videos found on the iPhone. In one video, the au pair allegedly recorded the baby boy screaming. Instead of tending to him, she allegedly emailed a friend about her disgust for the child.
"Rather than picking him up and holding him she would take pictures and say 'look at him, he has a dirty diaper. I can't believe how awful it is.'"
Au pair gets reassigned before being fired
Despite the Clayton's complaints, the au pair agency did not send the girl back to Germany but instead placed her with another family in the same neighborhood.
On Wednesday, a representative from Cultural Care declined to comment specifically, citing privacy issues, but it also said, "There is more than one side to the story. We have not received copies of text messages or videos."
However, less than a day later, the au pair was fired by Cultural Care.
"This is a rare and unfortunate episode, given that we manage thousands of au pair placements nationally each year," Robinson said.
Clayton says that the au pair employment hurt the agency more than anything and was shocked at the temporary reassignment.
"They said that the new family didn't need to know the particulars about what happened with us," Clayton said. They could ask, but they didn't need to, so it seemed like a little bit of a loophole in our mind because we did inform them before she was placed about the things that we found," Clayton says.
A representative said she is pursuing a full refund for what the Clayton's spent on their German au pair.