A two-month-old baby from Florida who was critically injured earlier this month when he was held under scalding water by his mother as punishment has died at a local hospital, officials said on Saturday. His teen mother remains in jail.
Emilio Jesus Bautista suffered severe burns on April 16 when his mother, 18-year-old Chekayla Ariel Dampier, placed him in an infant wash tub at her Port Richey home and ran hot water over him for two to three minutes. The abuse happened at around 1 p.m., but it took Dampier until 10 p.m. to bring her severely injured child to a hospital.
"Pasco Sheriff's detectives have confirmed that Emilio Jesus Bautista, severely burned when his mother Chekayla Dampier allegedly placed him under scalding water for several minutes, died this morning at Tampa General Hospital," sheriff's office spokesman Kevin Doll said on Saturday. "The case remains under investigation."
According to a complaint affidavit written by Detective R. Grady, Emilio sustained severe burns to the head, chest and arms. "Physicians at TGH (Tampa General Hospital) advised the infant sustained severe second-degree burns causing damage that is undetermined at this point to the infants eyes and ears as well as the above mentioned body parts," he said in his report, filed before Emilio died on Saturday.
Grady reported that Dampier initially blamed the incident on others but later changed her story when her statement was proven false. "Post Miranda, the defendant advised [..] she was frustrated with Emilio's crying for hours and admitted placing him in an infant wash tub and running hot water over him for 2 to 3 minutes," Grady reported. "The defendant advised she allowed the hot water to run directly on Emilio's head and body for 2 to 3 minutes. The defendant admitted Emilio was crying during the entire incident."
Sheriff's investigators took the temperature of the hot water at Dampier's house and registered it at 142 degrees Fahrenheit (61.1 degrees Celsius). "The defendant admitted when drying Emilio off with a towel she observed his skin coming off and other parts of his skin were 'bubbling'," said Grady, who requested a high bond due to the severity of the injuries and the age of the victim.
Dampier, who is unemployed and has a long history of arrests for thefts and other non-violent crimes, has been charged with aggravated child abuse resulting in great bodily harm, although the charge is likely to be upgraded following the infant's death. She remains at the Land O' Lakes Detention Center on $150,000 bond.