Instead of calling 911, Fla. mom allegedly treated son's fatal burns after consulting internet

  • Chris Harris
  • People
4:23 p.m Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018 AJC Homepage

A Florida toddler died last month after sustaining severe burns over the lower half of his body — and his 35-year-old mother has been accused of murder and extreme child neglect for allegedly refusing to seek immediate medical treatment for him.

Ethan Coley died on Jan. 18. He was only 1.

Court records obtained by PEOPLE confirm Christina Hurt had previously been charged with aggravated manslaughter. She now faces additional charges of second-degree murder and aggravated child abuse.

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According to the arrest report, Hurt told investigators she briefly left her home to take out some garbage. She allegedly told police she had left Ethan in an infant chair, but came back to find him screaming in his 10-year-old sister’s arms.

The report alleges that Hurt told cops that her daughter tried to bathe the boy in a bathtub. She told detectives that things were fine until another of her children, Ethan’s 4-year-old brother, accidentally made the water scalding.

Ethan suffered severe burns from the middle of his torso to his toes, according to the arrest report.

Investigators contend that Hurt failed to rush the wailing baby to the hospital, but instead sought advice from her friends about treating burns. She also allegedly consulted the internet for tips.

Hurt allegedly went to sleep that evening, even after Ethan vomited several times. The arrest report alleges she gave Ethan juice and Tylenol before nodding off.

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In the morning, Hurt allegedly brought the unresponsive boy to a friend’s home, where they attempted to resuscitate him in the front yard. A woman who saw the boy dying called 911.

Witnesses say that Ethan was lethargic and had trouble breathing when he arrived at the friend’s home. Hurt’s arrest report alleges she “adamantly refused” to bring the child to the hospital.

Police allege that Hurt may have been unwilling to go to the hospital because of previous allegations against her.

According to The Miami Herald, Hurt lost her five other children in 2013 after the children’s paternal grandfather claimed they were hurting themselves while being left alone and unsupervised.

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The paper also reports Hurt was arrested in 2014 after her then 3-year-old daughter was dropped off at daycare with a gash on her head.

Doctors later determined the girl had sustained a fractured skull.

Hurt denied the girl’s claims to detectives her mother pushed her off a bed, according to the Herald.

Hunt temporarily lost custody of her children after her arrest, but served no jail time. Instead, prosecutors agreed to a two-year probation period, which ended on March 24, 2016.

Hurt has not entered a plea. A public defender representing her did not return PEOPLE’s call for comment.