by: Tom Regan Updated:
HALL COUNTY, Ga. - A Hall County Sheriff's investigator says a heated crock pot was discovered in a room where a toddler was severely burned at a day care last month.
"The temperature inside the crockpot was 161 degrees and temperature outside was 126," said investigator Angela Miller.
Miller was testifying at a probable cause hearing for the owner of the day care center and two workers. All three face criminal charges stemming from the June 13 incident.
The investigator said Eddye Pittmon, the worker caring directly for 16- month- old Damon Gaddis, knew the child was burned around 10 a.m., but failed to call for medical attention. Another worker expressed concern after seeing the child's red skin.
"She had mentioned that it looked like a burn and she was told by Miss Pittmon basically to 'shut up stop saying that, it's not a burn," said investigator MIller.
The investigator also told a magistrate judge that the owner of the facility, Minnie Sue Dupree, was not on site the day of the injury, but became upset after seeing that a worker had taken pictures of the child's injuries.
"Miss Dupree asked her why she took them, and basically told her, and these were her words, 'you better delete those photos or we're all going to lose our job," said Miller.
During an interview, Dupree told investigators she did not believe the child was injured at the Discovery Basics Day Care Center.
Authorities had been told the crock pot was used to heat baby bottles. Investigator Miller would not speculate on whether that was the cause of the child's second and third-degree burns on his stomach and left leg.
The owner's daughter, Tara Miller, is also charged with failing to get medical attention for the child. The boy's mother did not learn of the injury until she arrived around 5:30 pm.
The boy is still recovering from his burns. The magistrate judge at Friday's hearing at the Hall County Courthouse ruled there was sufficient criminal evidence to move the case on to trial. Also Friday, state officials revoke the license of the day care facility which has already closed.
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