MILWAUKEE -- (WITI) -- A Milwaukee mother is facing homicide and child neglect charges in connection with the death of her 2-year-old daughter, which happened Sunday, Sept. 23 at a home near 72nd and Carmen.
Lisa Simmons, 41, faces one count of first-degree reckless homicide and one count of neglecting a child, consequence is death.
The 911 call came in shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 23. The caller, Simmons, indicated her 2-year-old daughter wasn't breathing, had stiff legs and appeared blue in color. A dispatcher walked her through CPR and police and fire officials responded to the scene. No life-saving measures were initiated because it was determined the child had already passed away before first responders arrived.
The criminal complaint says Simmons indicated on Sept. 23, around 1:30 p.m., she woke up and got something to drink, and when she returned to the bedroom, she noticed the 2-year-old was cold to the touch and her skin looked purple. The child was unresponsive, and Simmons said she called 911. The complaint notes Simmons indicated the child had been recently diagnosed with "hand, foot and mouth disease."
Simmons told investigators about a burn on her daughter -- indicating chemicals from a "bug bomb must have went inside the diaper" Simmons placed on the child because her "skin began to peel off after she wore it." She said she noticed the burn on Sept. 21, but she was "afraid to take her to the hospital because (Simmons) had an open case with Child Protective Services." The child was returned to Simmons in May, and the complaint says a caseworker visited the home on Sept. 19.
Investigators discovered "severe burns" to the back of the child's body -- and Simmons was arrested at the scene.
The complaint says Simmons continued to tell investigators the burns were caused by "bug bombs," but when confronted with photographs showing the pattern of the burns, the complaint says Simmons indicated the child was burned in the bathtub on Sept. 20. Simmons said she dipped the child into the tub to get her hair wet, and when the back of her body hit the water, she screamed. Simmons said when she felt how hot the water was, she took the child out of the tub.
The complaint says she said she dipped the child in the water, at which point the child began kicking and screaming. She then held the child in the water for about a minute, before realizing how hot the water was and removing the child from the water. She said she noticed the child's skin was blistering and peeling -- and said she tried to treat the burns at home. She said the child got worse over the next few days, but she didn't take her to the hospital because she "didn't want CPS to take her children."
The medical examiner ruled the toddler died as a result of complications from thermal burn injuries.