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Southwest Louisiana ,

Oberlin child dies of apparent burns; man charged with aggravated battery

Last Modified: Friday, April 12, 2013 6:21 PM

By Doris Maricle / American Press

OBERLIN — A local man has been charged with aggravated battery after a 2-year-old child left in his care died from severe burns, authorities said.

Additional charges may follow completion of an autopsy, Allen Parish Sheriff Doug Hebert III said Friday.

Authorities were called to the Allen Parish Hospital in Kinder on Thursday after the child was brought in by her mother.

“The child was dead upon arrival, and hospital officials were suspicious of the circumstances surrounding her death after noticing burn marks on her back,” Hebert said.

The child reportedly had third-degree burns.

Investigators searched the child’s home Thursday and seized two electric heaters with springs matching the burn patterns on the child’s back, Hebert said.

A preliminary autopsy found the child may have died from severe burns caused by prolonged contact with the heater.

The mother’s boyfriend, Bobby J. Davis Jr., 29, of Oberlin, was arrested on a preliminary charge of aggravated battery.

The charge may be upgraded to first- or second-degree murder pending further investigation, including an official cause of death from the Calcasieu Parish Coroner’s Office, Hebert said.

Davis was at home with the child when the incident occurred, he said.

“The mother was at work, and he called her, and she ran home and brought the child to the hospital, but she was apparently dead on arrival,” Hebert said.

A 7-year-old child in the home was removed and placed into custody of the Office of Community Service.

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