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Two face charges after two-year-old treated for second degree burns

WEST MONROE - UPDATE (4/16/2018) Gavin Lowery's maternal grandmother chose to speak out after her grandson's death. She says she wants people to remember him as the happy-go-lucky kid that he was. 

Two and a half-year-old Gavin Lowery was a livewire who always had a smile on his face. 

"He never met a stranger and that's kind of scary," Rhonda Neumann said.

Neumann says Gavin loved Paw Patrol and their trips to Dairy Queen. 

"You love your kids to death but when you have grandkids it's like a special kind of love," Neumann said.

Gavin should be playing with his Paw Patrol toys at his grandma's house but instead she is planning his funeral.  
This week, Rhonda Neumann's world turned upside down when she learned that her grandson had been admitted to the hospital for injuries sustained from alleged child abuse. 
"That was my baby laying there and I couldn't do nothing to help him," said Neumann. 

Rhonda Neumann stayed by Gavin's side at the hospital until he was taken off life support early Saturday morning. 

Neumann says there were no previous warning signs of abuse and that the family would have gotten involved if they had known. For now she says she believes there will be justice for Gavin. 

Gavin's vistitation will be held Tuesday and the funeral will be held Wednesday. 
 

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(4/14/2018) UPDATE: 2-year-old Gavin Lowery died early Saturday morning from injuries sustained from abuse. According to police, the case is still an open investigation. It's unclear whether there will be additional charges. 

ORIGINAL STORY:

(04/11/18) 7:30p.m. -- Court documents confirm that Lindsey McBride and John Harper were both arrested and charged with 2nd degree cruelty to juveniles. 

The family has confirmed the juvenile as 2-year-old Gavin Lowery. "It's a tragedy, no one knows what it's like to sit here and watch a baby fight for his life, but from the words we got from the doctor today we have a glimmer of hope," said grandmother of Lowery and mother to McBride, Rhonda Neumann. 

Court documents also confirm that Lowery suffered 2nd degree burns on his legs, genitals and buttocks. It also confirmed that he tested positive for amphetamines. 

Officials from Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) told NBC 10 that there are warning signs you can look out for.

"If kids are coming into school dirty, if they're hungry, maybe they're stealing food or hiding food. If they have bruises or marks on their body or they tell you a story about something that happened and it just doesn't add up, you just really have to use your best judgment, " said Community Development Coordinator Jere' Anthony.

Lowery is currently being treated at LSU Shreveport. Court records reveal that Lowery was deprived of oxygen for an unknown amount of time possibly by choking and most of his brain is dead. 

Neumann says Lowery is a fun loving child and they are truly hopeful for his recovery. "Gavin is a very happy go lucky rambunctious child, he never met a stranger, he's loved by many. I never knew this many people would come together and pray for him like they have," she said.

Neumann asks that everyone stop pointing the finger until all details are released.

Here are some additional signs CASA provided that you can watch out for to detect child abuse:

1. If a child is wary of physical contact with adults.

2. If a child fears going home or cries when it is time to leave a protected environment.

3. If a child is frequently late or absent from school; constantly arrives early to school or stays long after it is time to go. 

4. Gives unbelievable explanations for his or her injuries or claims no knowledge of the source of the injuries. 

5. If there are noticeable changes in how much the child eats.

6. If the child suffers from bedwetting or has nightmares. 

If you suspect a child is being abused or your are the child being abused, you can call the child abuse hotline. (1-800) 4-A-Child or (1-800) 422-4453. You can also visit the website here.

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According to our partners at The News-Star, two are facing charges of cruelty to a juvenile after a child was taken to LSU-Shreveport for treatment of second degree burns.

Investigators with the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office were notified by social services in Shreveport that a two-year-old child arrived at the pediatric care unit on April 5 with second degree burns on both legs, his genitals and buttocks.

Splash burns were also present on the face and new and old bruises were over his body.

According to the report, the child was unconscious except for moaning and appeared to be in severe pain.

Read more at The News-Star.


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