Richmond Mother Charged with Child Abuse After Toddler Found with Chemical Burns

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Richmond Police recently arrested a woman after it was discovered that a child in her care had extensive chemical burns.

Officers were called to conduct a welfare check on the toddler, and while at the residence, they reportedly found the child to have severe second and third-degree burns across their face and torso.

According to the arrest citation, the toddler also had a deep laceration on their foot, which appeared to be infected.

Department for Community Based Service (DCBS) officials told investigators they had responded to the location a day earlier after also receiving a referral for a welfare check on the child.

Further investigation revealed that 38-year-old Jessica Chandler had allegedly attempted to deceive DCBS workers by hiding the injured child, and presenting the victim’s twin sibling in their place.

Following the initial search conducted by Richmond Police, Criminal Investigations Division was then contacted and responded to the scene.

Investigators were informed the victim’s mother, Jessica Chandler, initially told authorities that the burns were accidental, claiming the child had overturned a container filled with chemicals onto themselves.

Chandler allegedly later altered her story, telling officers the toddler received the burns from lying on the kitchen floor after she had mopped. Police say Chandler also said she had cleaned the floors with bleach and lye and the floors were still wet when the child was in contact with them.

The citation states that the victim was removed from the scene and immediately transported to a Lexington hospital for medical treatment.

Officials say that during the DCBS investigation, another family member alleged that Chandler was abusing them.

Reported incidences of abuse included Chandler placing the victim on top of a hot stove and forcing them outside during cold temperatures.

Police say that Chandler admitted to “blacking out” due to her intoxication level at the time and that she could not remember many details from that evening.

Chandler was arrested and taken to the Madison County Detention Center where she was charged with 1st Degree Assault, 1st Degree Criminal Abuse (child 12 or under), and Tampering with Physical Evidence.

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If it's news at Wallingford Media Group, chances are you have heard and seen it from Marisa. Marisa does daily newscasts for all Wallingford radio stations, and is the face of Richmond's own WBON-TV. Marisa hails from Cincinnati, and recently graduated with a degree in Electronic Media Broadcasting from Eastern Kentucky University (with highest honors--go big E!). She has worked as a reporter and producer previously in print, radio, and video, and loves telling stories, especially here in Central Kentucky. Feel free to hit her up with any news tips or ideas for feature stories!