Thatcher couple arrested after toddler suffers burns

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

THATCHER, Ariz. -- A Thatcher couple has been booked into the Graham County Jail for allegedly causing their young daughter to suffer severe burns. 

Ashley Kristine McCain, 22, was booked on two charges of child abuse, while her husband and the child’s stepfather, 23-year-old Sean Michael McCain, was booked on one charge of child abuse.

Authorities began investigating the couple on Dec. 20 when a nurse at the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center contacted them regarding possible child abuse.

An officer responded to the hospital and observed several infected burns on the McCain’s daughter’s back, stomach, buttocks and genital area. She was also suffering from burns to the top of her hand, wrist, forearm, and elbow.

Ashley McCain reportedly told authorities that her husband had told her that their child was accidentally burned while taking a bath.

A bandage that had been placed on the toddler’s backside had become stuck and hospital employees were not able to remove it.

The child was subsequently transported to the Arizona Burn Center at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix.

A physician’s assistant at the burn center told an officer that the child’s burns were not consistent with a typical bathtub burn.

A doctor also told investigators that they believed the child had been held in the water.

Ashley McCain would later tell investigators that she thought her daughter had been suffering from first, second, and third-degree burns.

According to witness statements made to investigators, the McCains didn’t seek medical treatment until Ashley’s mother saw the burns on the child’s hand and threatened to call police.

Sean’s father also reportedly encouraged the couple to take the child to the hospital, but his wife, who looked after the child for Sean and Ashley, told them not to.

A routine skeletal survey taken at the hospital also revealed that the child had been healing from multiple fractures.

After being released from the burn center, the child was turned over to Child Protective Services.

On Wednesday, Thatcher police secured an arrest warrant for Sean and Ashley McCain.

They were subsequently arrested by Graham County Sheriff’s Office deputies at their home.

The McCains are due back in court on May 1 for a preliminary hearing.