Babysitter charged after toddler burned - FOX Carolina 21

Babysitter charged after toddler burned by scalding water

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A Gastonia woman is facing charges after a 15-month-old girl she was babysitting was burned by scalding water in a bathtub for nearly 30 minutes.

According to Gaston County Police, a man came home earlier this month to find his 15-month-old daughter unattended and crying in a bathtub with severe burns on their body.

Police say the little girl had been in the tub for as long as 30 minutes and was suffering from first, second, and third degree burns on much of her body.

According to the report, Cassandra Kristen Ann Willard, the girl's babysitter, couldn't hear the little girl crying because she was listening to loud music in her headphones.

She was babysitting several other small children at the time who were not injured, police say.

Willard called 911 and the little girl was flown to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital where she is recovering.

Willard was charged with child abuse. Police say the little girl was unattended long enough to get inside a bathtub and remain inside with the hot water running for up to thirty minutes.

WBTV spoke to Carrie Niggel from her daughter's hospital room. She says she never imagined something like this would happen, especially at the hands of someone she knew so well. 

"I would never do anything to hurt anyone else's kids. So, I don't understand how someone could let it happen to mine," Willard said. 

Niggel tells WBTV seeing her daughter for the first time at the hospital was a sight she'll never be able to get out of her mind. 

"I literally almost fell into the floor. Because I'd seen her legs and they were really really red and her skin was peeling down off of them. I seriously wanted to hurt somebody," Niggel said. 

The little girl has already endured four surgeries, but her fight far from over. 

"The doctors told us to hope for the best and prepare for the worst," Niggel said.

Niggel's family has set up a Gofundme account to help with hospital bills. You can find it by clicking here.

According to police, Willard has been cooperative with investigators and received a $150,000 secured bond after turning herself in. That bond was increased to $250,000 Friday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. C.B. Putnam, 704-866-3320.

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