A 1-year-old girl remains hospitalized but is recovering after suffering severe burns and abuse, her father told NEWS9 Monday.
The father, who is not charged and wishes to remain anonymous, said this was not the first time his daughter has been hospitalized under the baby's mother's care. The father said his daughter had to have surgery just months ago after she swallowed a roof stripping liquid.
At that time, he said nurses told him the girl had a 2 percent chance of surviving, but he said his daughter is a true fighter. Since then, he said, he's been trying to get custody of his young daughter.
The girl's mother, 21-year-old Samantha Burch, was arrested on Friday and faces child abuse charges. Burch's ex-boyfriend, 34-year-old Ryan Custer, faces charges of possessing meth.
Police from Dillonvale and Wells Township found the baby -- who just turned 1 on Nov. 5 -- at her mother's Coss Street home in Dillonvale. Officials said the girl was severely burned in her diaper area, dehydrated, filthy and had a fever of 103 degrees.
Police said the abuse happened at 821 1/2 Second St. in Brilliant. The baby has second- and third-degree burns, but police said they did not know how she was burned. The baby was initially transported to East Ohio Regional Hospital, then transferred the burn unit at Columbus Children's Hospital, where she remained Monday.
When K-9 units arrived at the home, one of the police dogs ran to an abandoned house behind the home and found a meth lab. Drug Enforcement Agency officials are still looking into the possibility that it could be one of the biggest meth labs found in Ohio.
Stay with NEWS9, WTOV9.com and WTOV9 Mobile for continuing coverage.
- November 19, 2010: Father Of Abused Baby Says He's Been Fighting For Custody
- November 19, 2010: DEA: Dillonvale Meth Lab One Of Biggest In Ohio
- November 20, 2010: Traffic Stop Leads To Child Abuse Investigation, Meth Lab Find