Ind. parents arrested over child's burns

Jan. 8, 2009 at 12:36 PM

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Indianapolis police have charged parents of an 11-year-old girl with neglect for failing to seek treatment for her severe burns suffered two weeks ago.

Police said Fredrick Wessel, 48, and Sharon Wessel, 35, allegedly did not seek medical attention for their daughter, Heather, after she severely burned her legs, buttocks and back on Dec. 24, The Indianapolis Star said Thursday.

Police allege the couple instead applied simple moisturizing cream to the 11-year-old's second and third-degree burns, which she received when her pajamas were ignited by a propane heater.

WRTV of Indianapolis said authorities learned of the girl's severe injuries on Tuesday after a concerned neighbor called 911 regarding screams she allegedly heard coming from the Wessels' home.

Detective Genae Gehring said after investigating the call, police had Heather transported to an area hospital for treatment. Her parents were arrested and charged with felony child neglect.

"There was no way she was not in pain every day and there was no way that any type of treatment that they used on her would not cause serious pain," Gehring said of the young girl.

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