Parents arraigned on child abuse charges after 5-year-old girl's burns go untreated

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. – The parents of a 5-year-old girl were charged Wednesday in connection to severe burns she suffered and the lack of medical attention she received.

Lenard Smith, 36, and Evette Lattice Walker, 31, both of Highland Park, are charged with second-degree child abuse.

According to Highland Park police, the 5-year-old girl was playing with a lighter with friends Dec. 9 at about 1 a.m. when a thread on the girl’s sweater ignited. The girl suffered severe burns on her body.

Adults in the home put Vaseline on the burns and wrapped them with toilet paper, authorities said.

Two days later, another adult came to the home and saw the condition of the burns, calling for paramedics.

The girl was taken to the hospital’s burn unit where she is in critical condition with third-degree burns on her chest, arms and back.

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