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'The Baby Was Shuddering in Pain' Greensboro Mom Accused of Intentionally Burning the Bottoms of Her Baby's Feet: Police

Police say the two-month-old suffered third degree burns.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Greensboro Police say a mother is behind bars, accused of intentionally burning her two-month-old daughter. 

22-year-old mom Loretta Ford faces felony child abuse charges. Arrest documents state her child suffered second and third-degree burns on the bottoms of both feet Tuesday night.

WFMY News 2 spoke with Ford's stepfather who didn't want to comment. 

But neighbors, who witnessed the alleged abuse and saved the baby, say it was 'unimaginable.'

"When I looked over there {on Ford's porch} I seen her with a lighter," neighbor Kim Nelson said. "She had a lighter in the baby’s face like she was trying to light the baby’s face but I don't think it ever touched."

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Nelson says she saw Ford using a long lighter. 

"Then she started punching the baby in the chest and that’s what made me react," Nelson said. "Then she picked the baby up again and started burning the baby’s feet."

Nelson's roommate Sidney Sims says he ran over before it got any worse. 

"I went over asked her for the child and she gave me the child, she wasn’t coherent," Sims said.

Nelson and Sims say they had no other choice but to rush the baby to the hospital because of the severity of the burns. 

"The baby was shuddering in pain," Sims said emotionally. "Her body was trying to brace it was unimaginable."

Nelson said the burns were 'really red and raw-looking.'

The baby girl was taken to Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, where authorities and medical professionals took over. 

"The blisters were humongous, I mean it was extreme pain," Sims said. "I'm glad we were there to calm a situation that otherwise could’ve been going on forever and we would’ve never known."

Ford is being held in the Guilford County Detention Center under a $500,000 dollar bond.

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, or think a child could have died from being mistreated, you must report what you know to the county Department of Social Services. This is according to the law. Do not be afraid to report it as long as you are acting in good faith, you cannot be held liable.

Types of Child Abuse

  • Physical Abuse - injuring a child by hitting, kicking, shaking, or burning, etc. him/her; also includes throwing objects at the child.
  • Emotional Maltreatment - crushing a child's spirit with degrading derogatory verbal attacks, threats, or humiliation.
  • Sexual Abuse - sexual contact with a child (incest, inappropriate touching, rape); pornographic use of a child.
  • Neglect - failure to provide for a child s physical or emotional needs (food, clothing, shelter, medical care, physical or emotional attention); failure to provide guidance or supervision, abandonment.

Recognizing Child Abuse
The Child:

  • Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance;
  • Displays overt sexualized behavior or exhibits sexual knowledge that is inconsistent with their age;
  • Has not received medical attention for a physical injury that has been brought to the parents' attention;
  • Has learning problems that cannot be attributed to specific physical or psychological causes;
  • Is always watchful, as though preparing for something bad to happen;
  • Is overly compliant, an overachiever, or too responsible;
  • Comes to school early, stays late, and does not want to go home; or
  • Has unexplained burns, bites, bruises, broken bones, or black eyes;
  • Has bruises or marks in non-prominent, “fleshy” areas of the body (for example, inside of biceps or behind the knees);
  • Has fading bruises or other marks noticeable after an absence from school;
  • Seems frightened of the parents and protests or cries when it is time to go home from school;
  • Shrinks at the approach of adults;
  • Reports injury by a parent or another adult caregiver.

The Parent or Other Adult Caregiver:

  • Shows little concern for the child, rarely responding to the school's requests for information, for conferences, or for home visits; denies the existence of or blames the child for) the child's problems in school or at home; asks the classroom teacher to use harsh physical discipline if the child misbehaves; sees the child entirely bad, worthless, or burdensome;
  • Demands perfection or a level of physical or academic performance the child cannot achieve;
  • Offers conflicting, unconvincing, or no explanation for the child's injury;
  • Describes the child as "evil," or in some other very negative way;
  • Is abusing alcohol, prescription drugs or illegal drugs and that abuse is having an adverse impact on the child;
  • Uses harsh physical discipline with the child; or
  • Has a history of abuse as a child.

Recognizing Child Neglect
The Child:

  • Begs or steals food or money from classmates;
  • Lacks needed medical or dental care;
  • Lacks age appropriate adult supervision ;
  • Lacks clothing appropriate for the weather;
  • Reports family violence in the home;
  • Reports use of illegal substances or excessive use of alcohol by parents or caregivers (for example, to the point the parent passes out);
  • Abuses alcohol or other drugs; or
  • States there is no one at home to provide care.

The Parent or Other Adult Caregiver:

  • Appears to be indifferent to the child;
  • Seems apathetic or depressed;
  • Is involved in an abusive domestic relationship;
  • Behaves irrationally or in a bizarre manner; or
  • Is abusing alcohol, prescription drugs or illegal drugs.

For Parents Who Need Help

Asking for help is a sign of strength. Call Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina at 1-800-CHILDREN. They can put you in touch with someone who can offer support and help. Or contact your:

  • Family Physician or Pediatrician
  • Mental Health Center
  • Health Department
  • 1-800-4-A-CHILD a National Child Abuse Hotline)

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