GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas—A suburban Dallas woman has been charged after police say she doused her 5-year-old stepdaughter’s face with rubbing alcohol and set it on fire.
A Grand Prairie police statement Friday says 20-year-old Dalia Jimenez is charged with felony injury to a child and free on $20,000 bond.
Police say officers went to the family home May 13 after a child had been reported as burned and in need of medical treatment. Jimenez initially blamed the burns on an accident while lighting a candle.
***JUST IN***@GrandPrairiePD gives update to Dalia Jimenez case.
Jimenez is charged with burning her stepchild’s face as punishment for yelling.
Det. Greg Parker says it’s the worst child injury he’s seen.
First and second degree burns to face and shoulders. @wfaa pic.twitter.com/2L0yKzwDhe
— Matt Howerton (@HowertonNews) May 31, 2019
“We were made aware on scene that there was prior CPS history. That the girl had suffered a broken arm in 2018, so we decided to move forward with a forensic interview,” Det. Parker said.
After detectives found inconsistencies in her account, however, Jimenez admitted that she burned the girl’s face as punishment for yelling.
“This is probably the most extensive injury that I’ve ever investigated,” said Grand Prairie Police Det. Greg Parker.
“Detective Parker said when investigators arrived, the child was in a great mood, running around and playing with her younger sibling. But, she did complain that her face was hurting,” FOX4 reported.
Police: Stepmom intentionally set 5-year-old’s face on fire https://t.co/X25ZeUBBqc
— FOX 4 NEWS (@FOX4) June 1, 2019
During an interview with the child, the 5-year-old told investigators that her stepmother, Jimenez, hit her repeatedly with a belt and burned her, according to FOX4.
Police say the child’s father wasn’t home at the time and isn’t considered a suspect. The child and a younger sibling have been placed with relatives.
An estimated 674,000 children were determined to be victims of maltreatment in 2017, according to the Department of Health & Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.
Officials said there was an increase in the number of referrals to Child Protective Services for an investigation but that there was a decline in the number of maltreatment cases, a phenomenon they will be probing.
Of the abused children, 25 percent were younger than 1 year old. Another 52 percent were between 1 year old and 5 years old.
Perpetrators of abuse or neglect are most often in the 25 to 34 age range. More than four-fifths (83.4 percent) of the perpetrators were between 18 and 44 years old. Perpetrators were more likely to be female.
NTD News staff and The Associated Press contributed to this article.