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Grandparents Charged With Abuse of Child First Thought Dead

Grandparents Charged With Abuse of Child First Thought Dead



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FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) -- Grandparents of a scalded 4-year-old boy who mistakenly was pronounced dead have been charged with child abuse.

Davis County prosecutors filed the second-degree felony charges in 2nd District Court Wednesday against Martha Gomez, 41, and Mario R. Gomez, 42, of Layton.

The child had lived with the grandparents for about a year before he was taken to the hospital after being found in a bathtub unconscious on Jan. 7, said Deputy County Attorney Steve Major.

The charges allege the child had severe scalding of his feet and buttocks, but the grandparents did not get medical attention for him.

Major said the toddler is able to talk but has not given details on how he got the burns, nor has he talked about what happened the day his 19-year-old uncle, who does not live in the home, found him in an empty bathtub during a visit with his mother, the boy's grandmother.

"These types of cases are frustrating because we don't know when, where or how these injuries happened," Major said.

The boy, who is now in foster care, will probably have permanent scarring on his buttocks and ankles, Major said.

Doctors said the child probably had hypothermia when he was first brought to the hospital, which could have stopped his body functions, Major said.

As the body warmed up, the body functions began again and medical personnel discovered he was still alive.

The child gained six pounds last month and will be enrolled in speech therapy, as well as the HeadStart program, said Carol Sisco, spokeswoman with the Department of Human Services.

As far as she knows, the child's mother has not contacted him.

In February, a judge ordered a halt to reunification efforts between the mother and the child after she failed to appear for a court hearing.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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