EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah (TCD) -- A 41-year-old man was arrested and later released after his son was hospitalized with "severe" burns all over his body, which may result in amputations.
On Nov. 12, a case worker with the Utah Division of Child and Family Services contacted the Utah County Sheriff’s Office to report they were worried about a young child who had been admitted to the University of Utah Burn Center with serious injuries. Detectives went to the burn center, where they determined the boy’s father took him to the hospital the day prior. The 5-month-old reportedly had burns on over 40% of his body.
The Utah County sheriff’s office alleges the injuries occurred while the infant was in a "small bathtub under the care of the father."
Deputies arrested the child’s father, Matthew Beck, on a charge of aggravated child abuse.
According to the statement, a detective noted in the probable cause affidavit that the "burns were so severe that a large amount of the infant’s skin had sloughed off."
Beck allegedly waited an hour before getting medical care for his son.
The affidavit cited by KSL.com alleges Beck left his son in the tub while it filled up to the top with hot water and was "almost to the point of spilling over the side."
The child was reportedly in the water for approximately five minutes, and when Beck took him out, he allegedly saw his son’s skin was "white and peeling off."
According to the affidavit, Beck allegedly spread Vaseline on his son’s body and put him in cold water to help with the burns. A doctor said the child’s second-degree burns "are expected to progress to third-degree."
The affidavit reportedly says, "The baby will require skin grafts and his toes may have to be amputated. The burns are from the infant’s feet up to his hips or lower abdomen and the lower half of his left arm."
A detective went to Beck’s house and learned the water temperature was between 131 and 133 degrees.
KSL.com reports Beck’s wife, who is a nurse, told police he did something similar to another infant, but instead put him in cold water "until he turned blue." He allegedly did it to "toughen him up."
The affidavit says, "When confronted about using cold water as a punitive action against another son when he was also an infant, he initially suggested that he did it to improve the child’s circulation. After continued questioning, Matthew admitted that he did this to the infant as a form of punishment."
The sheriff’s office said Beck was released on a $5,000 unsecured bond but is not allowed to have any contact with the victim or other children in his home.