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Mother failed to seek medical help for child's injuries from boiling water, deputies say

Woman charged with child neglect following arrest of another caregiver

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(Getty Images)

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The mother of a Volsuia County toddler who investigators say suffered burns while in the care of another person was charged with child neglect Wednesday for failing to seek medical care for her 3-year-old.

Deputies said a day care worker noticed burn marks on a 3-year-old boy's back on Sept. 26 and contacted the Florida Department of Children and Families to investigate. 

DCF investigators and deputies determined the boy was burned by May, 47, while the boy's mother, Prescilla Williams, 54, was in the hospital.

Williams was charged with child neglect and arrested Tuesday.

The child told adults that "Terry burned me" after he had an accident on the floor at Terry May's apartment. The child was wearing a T-shirt when May grabbed a pot from the stove and poured the water down the boy's back, records show.

May was arrested on Oct. 11 on child abuse charges.

The child attends the same day care as May's children, according to the report. One of May's children told DCF investigators the victim peed on his father's floor so he poured hot water on him.

Records show May faced a similar charge in 2018 when a 3-year-old girl accused him of putting her in an oven. The girl also said May hit her with a belt, and she had several injuries across her body, according to a news release.

The boy's mother told detectives she and her son were living with May, because he is a family member of her boyfriend. Williams said she became ill on Sept. 18 and was admitted to the hospital. While she was at the hospital her son stayed with May and his family, according to the report.

She told investigators when she returned home on Sept. 20 she saw marks on her son's lower back but did not think anything of it.

"Prescilla stated she figured the kids were playing on the trampoline and (the boy) got drug across the top and he got a rug burn," according to the report.

Williams eventually told detectives she saw the wound on Sept. 22 and she knew the mark was not from a trampoline burn, according to the report.

When the skin began to fall off the burn, Williams did not take the toddler to see a doctor because she figured it was "getting better" and he did not need to seek medical attention.

According to the nurse practitioner who examined the toddler, if left untreated burns can result in infection and are extremely painful.

"Based on the size of the burn and mechanism of injury, a reasonable parent would have sought medical treatment," deputies said in the report.

Williams said after her son appeared to be afraid of May they moved out.

The child was taken from Williams by DCF and placed with other family, according to the arrest report.