Mom charged after toddler daughter dies from burns

Posted at 1:40 PM, Sep 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-27 15:40:56-04

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    MILWAUKEE (WISN) — A Milwaukee mom burned her 2-year-old daughter with scalding water in a bathtub and failed to seek medical help because she had an open child protective services case, prosecutors said.

Lisa Simmons was charged Wednesday with first-degree reckless homicide and child neglect in the death of her daughter, Zayanna Simmons.

According to the criminal complaint, Simmons initially told police her daughter had chemical burns in her diaper as a result of chemicals from a bug bomb.

“Upon removing Zayanna Simmons’ clothes and diaper, (a detective) observed Zayanna Simmons had severe burns to the buttocks, lower back, and upper thighs,” the complaint said.

Simmons later admitted that she’d put her daughter in a tub of hot water, but that it was only for a about a minute until the water splashed on her and she realized its temperature. Investigators determined that was not the truth.

“The hot water temperature testing reveals that Zayanna would have been held in the hot water for multiple minutes, far beyond what the defendant has admitted to, or the substance had to reach a much higher temperature (meaning a different substance and/or mechanism was used to inflict the burn,” the complaint said.

Prosecutors said the girl had just been returned to her mother in May and that a child protective services worker had visited the family on Wednesday.

The girl died Sunday. Milwaukee detectives spent several hours at the family’s Carmen Avenue home investigating the death.

“I knew someone had to be dead because they were here way too long,” a neighbor said.

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