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OFFICIALS: East Texas man injured child by 'intentionally' putting her in tub of 143-degree water

The child was flown to a Galveston medical center due to the significant injuries.

LUFKIN, Texas — An East Texas man is behind bars after reportedly seriously injuring a child in scalding water.

According to the Angelina County District Attorney's Office, on Sept. 26, around 1:40 p.m., Lufkin police were called to an area hospital regarding a juvenile burn victim.

When authorities arrived, they were met by the child's mother and the mother's boyfriend, Miguel Gonzalez.

The arrest warrant states police asked Gonzalez to come to the station to give a statement on how the baby was burned, but he refused. Gonzalez was then found to have an unrelated warrant. He was arrested and taken to the Lufkin Police Dept.

Detectives spoke with the child's mother who said she had come to the hospital straight from work and Gonzalez had been watching the child.

Police say the mother had two black eyes and appeared to have stiches on her forehead. When asked about the injuries, she said she fell in the bathtub. Officials say they were skeptical of the answer and asked the mother again how she was injured. She said she did indeed fall in the bathtub, but only after being pushed by Gonzalez.

When police began interviewing Gonzalez, he waived his Miranda rights and spoke to officials, according to the warrant.

The affidavit states Gonzalez said he was giving the child a bath in lukewarm water and when he was done bathing her, he put toys in the water for the child to play while he talked with his roommate. Gonzalez reportedly told police, after two minutes, he went to check on the child and she was unresponsive in the tub. 

The affidavit states Gonzalez said he noticed the child turned on the hot water, and when he pulled the child out of the water, her skin was peeling off. He and his roommate then rushed the child to the hospital.

"Detectives completed the emergency burn tests checklist, and found the max water temperature to be 143 degrees Fahrenheit," the affidavit stated. 

The crime scene tech took photos of the child's injuries and noted several findings. The injuries had a clear line of demarcation three-fourths of the way up the child's body, between the belly button and the chest area.

"This indicates [the child] was in a constant level of water of excessive temperature," the findings revealed. "Second, Jane doe had sparing in several key places on her body."

The affidavit also says there was evidence of "doughnutting" which is a pattern consistent with immersion abuse. 

"There were no significant splash burns on the upper portion of [the child's] body above the line of demarcation," the affidavit continued.

The child was flown to a Galveston medical center due to the significant injuries.

Detectives say there was enough evidence and probable cause to believe Gonzalez "intentionally immersed [the child] in the water and caused the serious bodily injury."

Gonzalez was booked into the Angelina County Jail on $251,500 bond.

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