A frustrated Maryland baby sitter allegedly put a 6-month-old baby's feet on a frying pan, burning and hospitalizing the child.
Ismelda Ramos-Mendoza, 36, faces multiple charges including child abuse, assault and reckless endangerment, The Washington Post reports.
Initially Ramos-Mendoza told police the injury was an accident, stating that the baby "may have rubbed across a tortilla."
After further questioning, Ramos-Mendoza eventually admitted she had grown frustrated with the baby's incessant crying while baby sitting at the child's home in Bladensburg.
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"Out of frustration, she placed the baby’s feet on the grill or pan she was cooking tortillas on," explained Detective Cpl. Charles Earle.
Consequently, the child suffered blisters, burns and swelling. The baby's feet were reportedly swollen and covered in blisters.
"Other seasoned police officers and investigators that have seen the pictures say it’s heart-wrenching," Earle said.
Acting Bladensburg Police Chief Tracy Stone also chimed in.
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"[I'm] taken aback and shocked," Stone said, reports WJLA. "I can't imagine."
After the baby's mother noticed her child's red feet the next day, she took the child to Children’s National Medical Center. The parents reportedly suspected their child's baby sitter may have been responsible for the injuries. Hospital staff contacted authorities.
Now Earle says they are further investigating Ramos-Mandoza, who is a mother of two and has been a baby sitter for years. They are worried she may have hurt other children.
"My concern is that she portrayed this as an accident," Earle said.
Members of the local community say they are shocked by the incident.
"It's very cruel that she did that," says Maria Vivar, who lives nearby. "I mean, babies don't know, and it's obvious babies need to cry."
"I was like, how can people like that exist in this world?" she added. "She seemed like an innocent lady. I didn't think she was capable of doing that."
Many describe Ramos-Mendoza as a nice woman and find it hard to believe the accusations.
"This is a good person," says Numan Morales, Mendoza's next-door neighbor and her pastor. "I don't know what happened."
"I know her for a long time, maybe 15 years," he added. "The lady, everything is good. Never a problem."
News of the burning also captured attention from social media users nationwide.
"Whats going on in this world??" wrote one person on KRON's Facebook post about the incident. "Why would people do such a horrific things like that to defenseless children?? It's sickening. The most horrendous thing an adult can do is to harm a child. God please keep them safe!!"