It was Prince William County Child Protective Services that first received a complaint about Valerie Hjort. Someone accused Hjort of tying a little girl's arms behind her back and locking the child in a dark utility closet for 10 minutes.
"Shocked. Totally shocked," says Jay Jack, a parent who has paid Hjort to care for his children. "She's watched two of our kids for a number of years and nothing but gleaming reports that I could give for her."
Hjort is 56 years old. We're told she has run a daycare out of her house in Woodbridge for 20 years.
Police were notified of the allegation on Friday. The complaint says it happened Wednesday. The charges against Hjort are abuse and neglect and also abduction.
"The circumstances that she was placed in prevented her from leaving," says Jonathan Perok of Prince William County Police. "Tying someone's hands, preventing them from leaving, putting them in a room - especially one that's unlit. In the event that an emergency or something took place - let's say the house caught on fire - it would be extremely difficult for her to get out on her on accord."