A four-year old boy living in a Michigan home filled with feces, urine, and exotic animals suffered severe burns in an accident with a butane lighter — and his caretakers refused to get him medical treatment, even lying to emergency responders when they came to take the boy to the hospital.
MLive reports that the little boy’s father and stepmother, Oren Ryan and Christina Ryan, and biological mother Ashlee VanNess have pleaded guilty to multiple charges of child abuse and lying to police officers. They all lived at the same Jackson home which has since been condemned, but only the father and the stepmother were home the day of the incident.
Two other adults facing similar charges, who also lived in the home, are reportedly insisting on their innocence and will go to trial.
In March of this year, a four-year-old boy at the home reportedly caught fire from an accident with a butane torch lighter, which ignited his shirt and caused second- and third-degree burns on his face and upper body.
According to MLive, the adults at the home did not get medical attention for the boy, instead going to a nearby store to buy him a stuffed animal.
A relative living in another area reportedly called police when they learned the boy had been burned. But when emergency responders reported to the home, an adult there lied to them, insisting that the boy was already at the hospital.
The first responders found the boy inside the home and transported him to the hospital. He spent nearly a month being treated at a burn center.
At the hospital, the child’s father reportedly gave medical staff “multiple inconsistent and unrealistic explanations” for how the boy was burned.
A subsequent investigation found unspeakably filthy conditions at the home, which has since been condemned. MLive reports that the house was filled with animals, including snakes, alligators, dogs, cats and a pig. It was also infested with cockroaches, and large quantities of feces and urine were found in the home.
Child Protective Services removed all the children living there from the home, including the injured boy. They are now living with relatives.
The suspects who pleaded guilty are scheduled for sentencing hearings in October, and face up to 10 years in prison.
Feature photo: Jackson County Sheriff