Police: Baby badly burned with boiling water, mom charged

Police: Baby badly burned with boiling water, mom charged

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Jonesboro woman charged with first-degree child endangerment told police she didn't have the money to get her child treated for a serious burn. But, police later learned she never took the child to the hospital.

The child's grandmother called police on Sunday after seeing a large, untreated burn on the inside of the 2-year-old girl's right thigh.

The burn, according to the initial incident report, was cracked and bleeding.

Police also noted burn marks on the child's arm.

The girl's mother--Merenda Lynn Thomas, 35--told police the 2-year-old was taking a bath in the kitchen sink when another child poured hot water from boiling rice into the sink next to the victim.

Thomas claimed she took the toddler to a local hospital, but was unable to afford the prescription doctors ordered.

When the police officer asked for the prescription and the paperwork from the hospital, Thomas reportedly said she had thrown it away.

"I then began to question her if she even took the child to the hospital," the officer noted in the report. "That is when she admitted that she had not [sought] medical [treatment] for the victim at all."

When asked why she did not take the child for treatment, Thomas reportedly said she was afraid authorities would take the child away from her.

Thomas then told police the burn happened four days earlier when her older son poured boiling water onto the 2-year-old while giving her a bath in the kitchen sink.

The boy confirmed he had boiled water on the stove and was trying to give his sister a bath.

"He stated [Thomas] was in the living room having Bible study," the report stated.

According to the report, the home's water heater was not working; but, Thomas had not alerted the landlord.

Police arrested Thomas and took her to the Craighead County Detention Center and left to await a probable cause hearing.

Officers also contacted the Department of Human Services.

An ambulance took the burned child to a local hospital for treatment and assessment of her injuries.

At the time of this report, it was noted she would be taken to a burn center in Little Rock.

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