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Mother faces felony child neglect charges after 10-month-old suffers multiple chemical burns

Kacie Breeding • Sep 6, 2012 at 1:47 AM

A Bristol mother is facing felony neglect charges after her 10-month-old daughter suffered first-degree and second-degree chemical burns on her head, neck and arms while in the woman's care.Kayla Ann Sluder, 22, 400 17th St., Bristol, Tenn., is charged with aggravated child neglect, a Class A felony, and child neglect, a Class E felony.According to court records, the incident is alleged to have occurred Nov. 18, 2011, at the 17th Street address where Sluder lived with her mother, Susan Murray, her mother's boyfriend, Andrew Bumgardner, and her three children -- the 10-month-old infant, her 2-year-old son, and a 4-year-old son -- who had allegedly stayed there for about two weeks -- with whom Sluder was not supposed to have overnight visits after being placed in his paternal grandmother's custody due to neglect.An affidavit alleges that between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. that morning, Murray had repeatedly tried unsuccessfully to wake Sluder. Eventually, Murray pulled the covers off of Sluder and she sat up in bed. Murray and Bumgardner then left the residence around 11 a.m., leaving the three children in Sluder's care.Around 12:37 p.m., Sluder reportedly called Murray to say she had awakened to the sound of her daughter crying. She allegedly told Murray she had found the child with liquid on her arms and face, and her skin peeling, and discovered the children had opened and poured out several bottles of chemicals that had been stored under the kitchen sink.Murray reportedly advised Sluder to give the children a bath and take the infant to the hospital. An hour later, Murray arrived at the home and encountered Sluder as she was leaving for Bristol Regional Medical Center. She allegedly had not yet called 911 or a doctor.The infant was examined and transferred to Johnson City Medical Center for treatment of first-degree and second-degree burns on "both arms, neck, head, facial area, and eyes."Sluder told Bristol Tennessee Police Detective Lt. Debbie Richmond-McCauley she had, "snorted two lines of bath salts" two days earlier, and then taken prescribed Klonipin and Suboxone the night before the incident.When hospital staff advised Sluder her other two children would need to be examined due to the possible chemical exposure, Sluder initially refused to reveal where the children were, citing that she was afraid the Department of Children's Services would remove them from her care. After about 15 minutes, during which time Sluder was advised of the seriousness of the possible chemical exposure, Sluder called her father and asked him to bring the other two children to the emergency room at Bristol Regional Medical Center.During that time, another officer reported having observed Sluder allegedly trying to leave the hospital.Sluder was indicted on the charges in June, but the paperwork was resubmitted to the grand jury for a correction on Tuesday. She is scheduled for an Oct. 11 arraignment.No information was immediately available concerning whether Sluder's children remain in her custody.

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