An 11-year-old girl was badly scalded after another girl poured boiling water on her face and chest during a sleepover in the Bronx, New York. (Warning: The photo below is graphic.)
Jamoneisha Merritt was attending a sleepover at another girl's house when she was badly burned after a pot of boiling water was dumped on her face and chest, according to the New York Daily News.
Jamoneisha suffered second-degree burns to her shoulders and face as a result and was immediately rushed to a local hospital. Police charged a 12-year-old girl with assault after Jamoneisha was taken to the burn unit.
A cousin of Jamoneisha told police her cousin and the older girl were arguing before the incident, although the cause of the argument was not immediately clear. The cousin reported that the girl told Jamoneisha not to go to sleep because "they were going to do something to her."
Jamoneisha awoke to the severe burns caused by the boiling water, screaming in agony as she suffered scalds to her neck and chest in addition to her face and shoulders, according to CBS News.
"We're trying to keep her spirits up, talking to her," Jamoneisha's family said.
The girl remains in intensive care and has not yet been made aware of the extent of the injuries to her face and neck. The burns were so severe, they changed the pigment of the girl's skin in large patches across her body.
Police are planning to charge the 12-year-old with a felony for her role in Jamoneisha's burning, reports NY1. The cable news channel also reported that an adult was home at the time of the incident, although it was not clear if the adult was actively supervising or was aware of the issues between the girls.
"She's very sad," said mother Ebony Merritt. "She's emotionally messed up. She don't understand why they did that to her. She thought they was her friends."
"I was told that they didn't like her," she continued. "And they just been bullying her. They've been on Snapchat. It's been going on several times. The girl admitted it. 'I don't like her. I wanted to do it,'" Ebony said, although the girl's admission was not independently confirmed.
Sources told NY1 that Jamoneisha may have fell victim to the dangerous "hot water challenge" that has been trending on social media. The "challenge" dictates that one person boils water while the victim sleeps to later pour on them to wake them up. Children and teens seeing the fake challenge may not be aware of the lasting damage the boiling water can cause.