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Independence babysitter accused of burning toddler’s hands

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- An Independence, Mo., babysitter is charged in Jackson County with endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree after a boy in her care suffered critical burns on his hands.

Christian Johnston

Christian Johnston, 36, was babysitting the two-and-a-half-year-old boy over the weekend of May 6th and 7th. When his parents, Hailey Mitchell and Anthony Di Domenico came to pick up their son on Tuesday, they said the boy's hands were wrapped in gauze and socks. When they tried to remove them, the child screamed.

They say Johnston had told them in a text on Monday that the boy had burned himself on Ramen noodles when he was reaching for a bowl. The babysitter is accused of minimizing the extent of the injuries and also allegedly told the boy's mother that her best friends' husband was a doctor and was giving the boy medical attention.

When the parents couldn't remove the bandages, they took him to a local hospital and he was taken by ambulance to Children’s Mercy.

“Once we got there, right away, you could tell the doctors, they were like, ‘yeah, we see ramen noodle burns all the time. This is not indicative of a ramen noodle burn,’” Di Domenico said.

"It’s solely on his wrists, fully submerged and his hands, both hands, perfect lines where the burns stop.” The parents say their boy might have to have skin taken from his thighs to replace the dead skin on the backs of his hands. It’s hard on the toddler and on the young couple. “He knows he’s got ‘owies.’ He wants to go home so bad. He’s going stir crazy in there,” Mitchell said.

His parents say Johnston has watched all three of the pair’s kids for almost a year now. They want other parents to know what happened to their boy.

“I’m very angry. I’m hurt. I had full, complete trust with her. I never thought anything like this would happen,” said Mitchell.

According to court documents, when police went inside the babysitter's home on South Dodgion Avenue in Independence, they asked her to show them where the Ramen noodle incident occurred. She told them she set the bowl of noodles on the kitchen table in the dining room. She says he must have reached for the bowl and caused it to tip and spill on the floor. The detectives noticed no evidence that a bowl of Ramen noodles had been spilled, noting the dirt on the floor did not show evidence of recent cleaning.

FOX 4 could not find any information showing that Johnston is licensed with the state to run an in-home daycare. The parents told FOX 4 they hired her through an online child care site.

Bond for Johnston was set at $30,000.