A Virginia man has been arrested after allegedly dipping his 9-month-old daughter in scalding hot water.
William Robert Schmuhl, 24, is being held at Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond after the April 21 incident at a motel in Spotsylvania County, Fredericksburg.com reported.
Schmuhl is accused of causing extensive immersion-type burns on his 9-month-old child. His girlfriend, the baby’s mother, was present in the motel at the time of the incident, according to police reports.
“The team, comprised of investigators from Child Protective Services, detectives from the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigative Division and a Deputy CA from the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, were summoned by hospital staff after a 9-month old child was brought to the ER suffering from extensive immersion-type burns, common to dipping the child into scalding hot water,” Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Jeff Pearce told WTVR. “The child was stabilized and subsequently transferred to VCU Medical Center in Richmond, for advanced burn treatment and possible surgery.”
Schmuhl was arrested after detectives interviewed him and conducted a forensic examination of the motel room. Pearce told CBS 6 News that this was one of the most disturbing cases he and his child victim unit have ever seen.
“The baby’s burns are so very severe it appears the suspect waited several hours before bringing the child to the ER,” Pearce said. “The baby suffered several hours and she was lethargic. She was going into shock.”
Investigators said Schmuhl’s case could be upgraded if the baby doesn’t pull through. He was previously arrested in 2013 for felony child abuse against his current girlfriend’s then 4-month-old son.
X-rays showed the injured boy had multiple broken ribs, a broken arm and skull fractures, Fredericksburg.com reported. The charges were later dropped.
The girl’s maternal grandmother, Delphine Timberlake, said she already has custody of three of her daughter’s children — all of whom are younger than 6. She said she will seek custody of the 9-month-old child.
Photo Credit: Spotsylvania County Sheriff via NBC 4 Washington