An Oklahoma mom was arrested last week after she revealed to police what she’d been doing to punish her 4-year-old son when he misbehaved.
According to KFOR, police were called to a Tulsa hospital on Thursday after 24-year-old Mikell Wortham brought her son to urgent care with burns and bruises covering his body.
The mother said she only brought him for treatment because she’d been evicted from her home and couldn’t hide the fact that she’d been abusing her son any longer.
She then told police how the little boy ended up with so many injuries, leading police to call the boy’s treatment one of “the worst neglect and abuse cases” they’d seen in some time, KOTV reports.Tulsa Police Department
According to KOTV, the boy had severe burns on his face because his mother said she often punished him with scalding hot baths, before rubbing Vaseline and lotion on his wounds.
The 4-year-old boy also weighed just 27 pounds, which his mother said was because she couldn’t afford to feed him, KJRH reports.
Many of Wortham’s neighbors were horrified when they heard what had been going on next door. Some of them had never even seen the boy, but often heard him screaming.
Neighbor Nick Teague told KOTV:
“I didn’t even know a kid lived up there. I could hear him. I’ve heard him scream and cry, but as for seeing him, I’ve never seen him a day in my life. I couldn’t tell you what he looks like, to be honest. That tells you how often she took him out.”
Malia Factor said she often heard the mom “whooping him” and even reported Wortham to the Department of Human Services, but was told she needed evidence. The neighbor said:
“I don’t’ think she’s a good mom. I did report her to DHS and they wanted proof too, so there’s nothing I could do to save the kid or any of that.”
Police said the child will likely have scars for the rest of his life due to the severity of the “extremely hot” baths, KOTV reports.
Wortham has been charged with child abuse and neglect, and is currently being held on $200,000 bond. Watch coverage of the story below: