The parents of a 2 year-old Pensacola, Florida boy who died Sunday with burns on 41 percent of his body have been arrested and charged with negligent manslaughter after allowing the boy’s injuries to go untreated for two weeks.
Christopher L. Redd, 39, and Jennifer Gail Perry, 29, told police that their son had accidentally spilled a pot of boiling water on himself two weeks ago causing second and third degree burns. They treated the burns with over-the-counter medications and an ointment that had been prescribed to Perry for a burn on her finger — for two weeks before bringing him to the hospital on Sunday.
Perry told investigators that Bryson had behaved normally until three days before they finally sought treatment, saying that at that time he had become lethargic and lost his appetite. She also told them that they had been hesitant to seek treatment for his injuries because they had previously been investigated by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and were unsure of what to tell hospital staff about the boy’s injuries.
“They’re being charged with culpable negligence in that they did not take the child to the hospital,” said the attorney who will prosecute the case John Molchan. “There is still an ongoing investigation into all of the circumstances of the incident.”
According to Redd’s mother Connie Bowman Ferro, the pair did not realize the severity of the child’s injuries, claiming that her son had called her in Indiana on Saturday night to tell her that they were planning to take him to the hospital on Sunday, but that he had said nothing of the nature of his illness.
“They have always done everything they could to provide for those kids,” Bowman Ferro said. “They just used poor judgment.”
Perry and Redd contacted the hospital on Sunday morning saying that he was moaning and gurgling and that he had vomited when Perry attempted to administer CPR. He died shortly after arriving at the hospital.
Another child in the home has been taken into custody by DCF and Bowman Ferro said that the family was attempting to arrange for a friend to take custody of that child.
Bowman Ferro also said that her son was often away from home working, and that she thought that medication Perry was taking for ovarian cancer may have clouded her judgement.
“In her mind, she thought she was doing the right thing,” Bowman Ferro said.
“Neglect like this should not happen to any child,” she said. “If I had known my grandson had been burned like this, I would have been there.”
The pair are being held without bond in the Escambia County Jail.