Henrico toddler suffers bleach burns, mother arrested

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – A Henrico mother is in jail without bond, accused of child neglect after harmful bleach is spilled on her 16 month old son.

Deanna Griffith, 31, faces a felony charge of child neglect following an investigation that began at the start of the Memorial Day weekend.

Nobody -other than the family dog, that is- seemed to notice when we knocked on the door of this Starling Drive house.

It was quiet on Thursday, but on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, it was quite the opposite.

Henrico Police were called, and they discovered a 16-month-old boy with two little legs that were "red and inflamed" according to the affidavit for a search warrant. Police questioned the boy's mother, Deanna Griffith, and according to the papers of the affidavit she confessed the following:

That afternoon she "fell asleep", the papers say, after taking medicine for which she did not have a valid prescription. Then, sometime during the next five hours, the small child got into the laundry room and "poured bleach onto himself" according to her statement.

By then, the child was screaming and Griffith woke up. According to the papers, she took off his clothes and diaper, and tried rinsing him with water. But the burning got so much worse, she had no choice but to call an ambulance, according to the papers.

The child was taken to VCU Medical Center, where doctors said the bleach burns were not life threatening.

Griffith was arrested five days later, and Thursday the recovering drug user held back tears when the judge ordered her to stay in jail, at least until she makes contact with a lawyer.

Earlier, police searched the house, which reeked of bleach at the time. They seized baby clothes and a bottle of bleach, according to the papers, now considered evidence in the felony child abuse case against Griffith.

The child was turned over to his father, and neither of them were there as Griffith made her brief court appearance. For now, she's scheduled to be back in court in July, though a bond hearing may be scheduled in the meantime.

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