A Florida man has been arrested after he admitted to pouring boiling water on a 2-year-old girl under his care.
Jonathan Lee Howard, 26, was arrested on Sept. 24 and charged with child neglect, according to WFLA.
Howard initially told police that the girl might have been burned by an exploding lighter while he was asleep, according to CNN. He later confessed to pouring the boiling water on the girl.
Police say Howard waited a full day before getting the girl medical attention. The child was airlifted to a hospital for treatment.
The girl suffered second-degree burns on her scalp, torso, arms, vagina, buttocks and leg, according to WFLA. Staff at the hospital told police that the girl's burns appeared to be created by a boiling liquid.
Howard claims he didn't realize the water was boiling and was trying to give the girl a bath. If convicted, Howard could face up to five years in prison.
WFLA reports that Howard lives with his wife and other children in a mobile home park in Dade City, Florida.
Howard's wife, who was at work when Howard poured the water on the girl, is currently looking after the child.
Neighbors at the mobile home park told WFLA that the girl is Howard's daughter, but the Pasco County Sheriff's Office would not confirm their relationship.
"It's horrific. Horrific to do that to a child," neighbor Sarah Bryant-Lewis told WFLA. "I love my kids more than anything in the world and I don't wish harm on anybody's child like that."
Howard has been ordered by a judge to stay away from the girl if he is released from jail.
"The first time that I met him he seemed like a very nice guy, but you never know what's on people's mind," neighbor Willie Lewis told WFLA.
During a court appearance, Howard told a judge he had been receiving mental disability benefits since he was 15 years old.
The state's attorney's office says that Howard has no criminal record, according to WFTS.
"People are like: 'Why, why did you do this?'" neighbor Shirley Odom told WFTS.
Odom says Howard would stay home with the children while his wife went to work. "I thought: 'Wow, what a good father, what a nice father.' Then I heard this and I was horrified," Odom said.
Howard remains in jail on a $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Nov. 16.