Polk County man, 25, charged after child found with burns, police say

Doctors: Child's injuries consistent with liquid burns

(Photo courtesy of Polk County Jail)

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – A 25-year-old man was arrested Friday after officers said he burned a child he was watching in multiple areas using hot liquid earlier this month, Winter Haven police said.

Police said Mitchell Rich, of Bartow, was the only person watching the child at an apartment on Oct. 13 while the child's mother was at work. 

The child's grandmother picked the child up from the apartment and noticed redness, blistering and peeling on the child's upper face, forehead and left ear, police said.

Rich told the woman the marks were in reaction to soap or other skin cream he used to bathe the child, but the child was taken to the hospital anyway for treatment, officers said.

Doctors said the child's injuries were consistent with a liquid burn that could be from scalding hot liquids, according to police.

Rich, who is currently on felony probation for robbery charges out of Virginia, was charged with aggravated child abuse and booked into the Polk County Jail, police said.

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