Society

Father Allegedly Left Baby In Burning Apartment (Photos)

| by Michael Doherty
A firefighter.A firefighter.

A baby is in serious condition after his father allegedly left him behind during a house fire.

Police said 21-year-old Rodney Williston Jr. of Charlotte, North Carolina, ran away during a fire started by a stove on July 12 because he had an outstanding arrest warrant, WSOC reports.

Williston has not been arrested, but had an outstanding warrant for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He also previously been charged with domestic violence and violations of his probation.

The fire was caused by food left unattended on the stove, said investigators. It damaged two units in the building, displacing two families.

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The baby boy suffered possible internal injuries, and is in the intensive care unit, police reported.

"I was a little shocked," said a neighbor.

"Wow, just definitely praying for the baby,"  according told CNN Newsource.

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In February 2016, a mother from Brooklyn, New York, was arrested after her 2-year-old daughter died in a fire while she was out partying, New York Daily News reports.

Leila Aquino, 21, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment after the toddler, Kaleenah Muldrow, was found dead underneath a bed in the apartment after there was a fire in the building.

Police said the girl may have hidden under the bed when the fire started an hour earlier.

Aquino, who works as a stripper, was out partying and did not return home until around 9:30 a.m., police said. Firefighters had put out the fire, but did not find the young girl's remains until Aquino told them her daughter had been in the building.

"She was crying, yelling, 'My daughter's in there!'" said her neighbor, Shameeka Smith.

Aquino said she had left Kaleenah with someone, but could not say who it was when authorities asked her.

"I'm just at a loss for words right now," said Kaleenah's father, Kason Muldrow. "There's really nothing I can say."

Kason had previously lived with the mother and daughter, but moved out when the couple broke up.

"She used to take care of her," said Kaleenah's great-grandmother, 73-year-old Jean Archibald. "I've never heard of [Aquino] doing anything like this. I guess people change."

"She was beautiful," said Kason's mother, Shelly Archibald of her granddaughter. "We're all devastated."

Aquino was charged with criminally negligent homicide, and in October 2016 she was sentenced to three years of probation, avoiding jail time. 

Jean said that she believed the mom had "been punished enough."

"I guess Kason felt the same way," said the great-grandmother. "It's been hard on all of us."

Sources: CNN Newsource via WOAI, WSOC, New York Daily News (2) / Photo Credit: Daniel Fleming/Flickr, WSOC, CNN via WOAI

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