A mother was arrested late Thursday night and charged with aggravated manslaughter after police say she failed to get help for her 1-year-old baby boy who was severely burned in a bath and later died from his injuries.
Christina Hurt, 35, has been investigated by the Department of Children and Families in the past for child neglect, according to police.
A 911 call came in just after 11 a.m. Thursday, reporting that a 1-year-old boy was in cardiac respiratory arrest at a home in the 12000 block of Southwest 217th Street in Goulds, according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.
Miami-Dade police said at the time that they were handling the incident as a “death investigation.”
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In Hurt’s arrest report, an officer said rescue crew and police arrived at the Goulds home to find the baby “unresponsive” on a mattress on the ground outside the home.
He had “severe burns from his mid torso, to the toes,” the officer wrote in the report.
Hurt was taken to police headquarters for questioning.
She told police she had put her baby in a highchair Wednesday night at their Homestead home and went outside and took the trash out, according to the report. She came back in to find her 10-year-old daughter holding the baby, who was screaming, she told police.
“The defendant subsequently learned that while her 10-year-old daughter was attempting to bathe the victim, the defendant’s 4-year-old son made the bathwater extremely hot, causing the victim to sustain severe burns from his mid torso to the toes,” the officer wrote.
The reason she didn’t get medical help, she told police: She didn’t want to lose custody of her children.
Instead, she gave the baby — who threw up several times during the night — Tylenol and juice, according to the report.
On Thursday morning, she took her other children to school and then went to her friend’s home in nearby Goulds, police said. She told police her baby was lethargic.
At about 11 a.m. the baby, identified by police as Ethan Coley, stopped breathing, according to the report. That’s when she took him outside and placed him on a mattress in the yard.
Witnesses told police that when she arrived at the Goulds home Thursday morning the baby was “lethargic and had shallow breathing” and they told her to get medical help, but she “adamantly refused,” according to the report.
Randy Joseph, whose sister Molita Cunningham lives next door, administered CPR to the baby, Miami Herald news partner CBS4 reported.
Joseph told the station that the child’s mother said, “She telling me, ‘Please save my baby, I don’t want to go back to jail.’”