Olathe Police say boy burned, grandmother wants justice

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OLATHE, Kan. — An 8-year-old in Olathe is recovering after being badly burned. Police are investigating and the child’s grandmother said he will never be the same.

The images of the boy’s chest are difficult to look at.

“It’s horrific. It’s horrific,” his grandmother Elizabeth Reidy said.

She said on November 13, she got a call from her daughter she will never forget.

“Your grandson was caught on fire. I said what are you talking about?” Reidy said.

When she got to her daughter’s apartment her grandson was in extreme pain.

“His skin was coming off. He was being tortured and I had to hold him because he couldn’t take the pain,” Reidy said.

She said an older boy tricked her grandson and lit his shirt on fire while he was wearing it.

“He had told my grandson that if you light a battery of a cellphone on fire then there would be gold. All the sudden he was lighting my grandson’s fingers on fire. Then he grabs the shirt pretty tightly and lights his shirt on fire,” Reidy said.

She said his shirt was pulled up after it was lit on fire and his hair was burned.

Doctors say he may need skin grafts after the incident. Police say they are looking at a juvenile in the case, but could not give any further information.

Reidy said her grandson doesn’t know who to trust.

“He’s mentally messed up. It hurts be so bad that I can’t take his pain away. He wants kids in his life that he can call a friend. This was his friend, and he almost killed him,” Reidy said.

Now, she hopes police will take this investigation seriously and the older boy involved will be punished accordingly.

“I hope this never happens to somebody else, because he could have been killed, and I want justice for him,” Reidy said.

His grandmother said he is recovering at home but doesn’t feel comfortable going back to school at this time.

The family set up a Gofundme for his medical costs and therapy.

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