Holly Hill, FL – A 22-year-old mother from Holly Hill is behind bars for allegedly dipping her 3-year-old child’s feet into scalding hot water, resulting in 2nd-degree burns.
According to the Holly Hill Police Department, On April 8 Sheretta Marie Harris was washing dishes at her apartment at the Family Renew Center at 810 Ridgewood Ave. when her child soiled their diaper. To clean it up, Harris submerged the child’s feet and ankles in scalding hot water in the bathtub.
The child suffered 2nd-degree burns to both feet and ankles and was brought to Halifax Health Medical Center and later Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando for treatment. According to a police report description, photos of the burns showed that several layers of skin were burned off.
Dominick Daniels, the child’s father, gave a recorded interview on May 8 and told investigators about a conversation he had with Harris. She told him that she was angry with the child, knowingly turned on only the hot water and partially filled the tub, then put the child in the tub feet first. According to Daniels, Harris left the child in the scalding water and only took the child out when she saw blistering.
Harris also told Daniels that about a year ago she became angry with the child and yanked both arms with such great force that one of the child’s arms broke.
Daniels told investigators that he moved out of the apartment at the Family Renew on May 6 because of a petty argument between him and Harris that started over a sandwich. Harris wouldn’t drop it and told Daniels to get his property and move out. Fearing Harris would contact the police and make up a story about an assault, he left and went to his mother’s house. Daniels told investigators he was telling the truth and wasn’t trying to get back at Harris; he was concerned about the safety and welfare of the three children in Harris’ care. He also added that Harris has an anger problem and when she’s upset she can get violent and sometimes directs that violence towards her children.
Police say the hot water heater for the apartment, a Rheem and Ruud commercial 50 gallon 40,000 BTU gas unit, was turned up to the maximum heat setting. At this time it’s not known who turned up the setting on this unit, which is usually set to the lowest temperature for safety reasons. The room where the hot water heater is kept is usually locked, but officials suspect someone forced open the locked door and changed the temperature setting.
Harris turned herself in on Tuesday night, May 30. She’s facing a charge of aggravated child abuse and is being held at the Volusia County Jail on $15,000 bond.
(Harris’ mugshot courtesy Volusia County Jail)
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