Centralia mother, grandmother arrested in connection with severe burns to infant

Centralia mother, grandmother arrested in connection with severe burns to infant

CENTRALIA — Centralia police arrested a woman and her mother Monday morning in connection with second-degree burns and other injuries suffered by a 7-month-old baby.

According to Centralia Police Chief Greg Dodson, officers responded early Monday morning to a disturbance in the 500 block of North Walnut Street. Upon their arrival, officers determined there had been a domestic battery incident that occurred between Stacie Bender and Anthony Johnston.

Johnston was not on scene when officers arrived but Bender had apparently been stabbed with scissors behind her ear. She completed a statement pressing charges against Johnston at that time. Bender also stated that Johnston had thrown their 7-month-old baby down on a bed in anger.

Officers subsequently contacted the Department of Children and Family Services in reference to the domestic incident due to a 7-month-old and a 3-year-old child being present at the time and Johnston allegedly throwing the baby down.

Officers went back to the residence later Monday to conduct a follow-up investigation into the incident and were accompanied by DCFS. While there, the investigating officer observed that Bender was acting strangely and was trying to shield the baby from the officer’s view. The Officer then observed a mark on the 7-month-old child, this led the officer to conduct a closer inspection of the apparent injury.

The officer then discovered two severe burn marks on the child’s side that required immediate medical attention. DCFS took immediate custody of the child and took him to seek medical treatment.

The mother was taken into custody and taken to the Police Department for questioning. It was determined by medical personnel that the 7-month-old baby had received second-degree burns on two separate locations on the baby’s side, from some type of open flame placed against the baby’s skin.

Dodson says that at this time it appears the mother inflicted the injuries to the child. The mother and maternal grandmother of the baby both being aware of the injuries as determined by text messages obtained by the investigating officers failed to seek medical attention for the child.

The mother, Stacie Bender as well as the grandmother, Nancy Candler were both arrested in connection with the injuries that the child sustained from the incident.

The father, Anthony Johnston was arrested on charges stemming from the Domestic Battery as well as the child abuse charges and a DOC warrant was issued for his arrest as he was out on parole.

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