A Florida woman has been arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect of a child causing great bodily harm after a three-year-old girl in her care was found weighing just 22 pounds. Officers arrested 31-year-old Takeia Ann Burns after checking on the child after receiving a report of suspected child abuse.
In the police report, it was written that the officer noticed the 3-year-old girl “walking abnormally slow” and “appeared very thin to the point I could observe the skeletal structure of her face,” The Miami Herald reports. The report also stated that the child had “multiple marks consistent with what appeared to be belt marks,” on her back as well as sores across her body and marks that looked to be consistent with being restrained.
“[The girl] was completed emaciated and appeared to be in pain whenever a part of her body was touched or moved by the nurse,” the officer added. Burns had reportedly explained to police that she was trying to potty train the child, and would often leave her in her soiled diaper as a means of punishment, and although she knew the child was underweight her pediatrician had stopped accepting her insurance plan.
The 3-year-old and another 10-month-old child who was in the house were transported to the hospital after officers responded to the call of suspected abuse. The officer stayed while the young girl was examined by a nurse and noted open sores on the inside of both her arms. “Based on my training and experience, these injuries are consistent with ligature marks, which often occur as a result of a person or animal being tied down,” the officer wrote in his report.
“Upon the conclusion of the medical assessment of [the girl,] it was learned she had a fractured rib, bilateral bleeding on her brain and multiple bruises on her head,” the officer wrote. A witness said that the young child would eat from the garbage and that Burns admitted to tying her arms and legs together to prevent her from doing so, CBS 12 reports.
Burns was released on bond the day after her arrest and is scheduled to be arraigned on October 10.