Dewey police: Condition worsens for scalded Dewey 16-month-old

DEWEY, Okla. - A 16-month-old girl flown to a hospital in Wichita due to severe scalding she received last month in Dewey has been again transferred, this time to a hospital in Kansas City due to her worsening condition, according Dewey police.

Dewey Police Investigator Tim Stringer told 2NEWS the police department received word Tuesday night she had been transported via a fixed-wing aircraft to Mercy Children's Hospital in Kansas City where she is now in "serious" condition.

According
to police, the girl suffered "severe second- and third-degree burns to over 30 percent of her body" — the most severe burns being to her feet — last month when her mother left her in a bathtub unattended with her 3-year-old for more then 10 minutes.

The 23-year-old mother, Danielle Lynn Conner, has since been arrested and charged with child neglect and obstruction of officers.

She is currently being held in the Washington County jail on a $50,000 bond.

According to the affidavit, the investigation began on Jan. 30 when the Wichita Police Department contacted Dewey police about the girl, her burns and their suspicious nature. Wichita police said Conner's story to hospital staff that the burns were from a spilled pot of boiling water did not match the injuries. A detective said the injuries were submersion burns.

Following interviews with Conner by Dewey investigators, and their confronting her with the evidence, Conner reportedly told them she had placed the girl in a bathtub in water that "was not hot" with a 3-year-old child.

Conner said she left the children for 10 minutes before she heard crying at which time the 3-year-old found her and tried to tell her something she said she could not understand. She said she thought it was about argument over a toy.

She said when she came back to the bathroom and noticed the hot water was on and the younger girl was screaming, Conner said she immediately lifted the child from the water and "the skin fell off her legs."

It was following this interview on Jan. 31 police arrested her and the 3-year-old was taken into Department of Human Services custody.

The investigation is still ongoing, Stringer said, adding though that the case has taken a toll on everybody connected to it.

"This is the toughest case emotionally I've had to investigate in my years of service," he told 2NEWS, saying he has been in law enforcement for 22 years.

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