A Houston mother and her boyfriend face four counts each of child-endangerment charges following the death of a 19-month-old who was found burned to death inside an oven. The child and her siblings had been left home alone, the New York Post reports.
Racqual Thompson, 25, and Cornell Malone, 21, remain in custody, with their bonds totaling $36,000, after their arrests Tuesday.
Last week Thompson's two 3-year-old children reportedly told child-protective services that one of them put little J'zyra Thompson inside the oven and made it "hot." Thompson reportedly admitted to leaving her four children, including a 5-year-old, alone on Nov. 16 for about 30 minutes to pick up Malone from work.
Later that same evening, she and Malone reportedly left the children alone again after putting them to bed to get some pizza and visit Malone's brother. They were reportedly gone for about two hours.
"Mr. Malone stated that when they returned and went into the apartment, he could 'smell something burning,' " according to a probable cause affidavit, the Post reports. The couple reportedly found the three other siblings crying and pointing to the kitchen, where the oven had tipped over and the oven door was facedown with J'zyra inside.
Malone pushed the oven upright and noticed that J'zyra was on the floor, "obviously burned and deceased," the affidavit continued. The oven was reportedly turned "all the way" up, according to news station KTRK.
Neighbors reportedly said that it wasn't unusual to see the children unsupervised, according to KHOU.
"With just a Pamper on, no shirt, no shoes or nothing,” one neighbor, Miranda Oneil Johnson, told the news station. “Like, running around. I'm like, 'Where is the momma or the daddy?' "
"Call a family member, call a friend, put them in day care. Don't leave your kids at home, man," another neighbor, Aisha Eason, said. "This is serious right here. There's a baby dead."
J'zyra's siblings have since been taken into CPS custody. Malone is not J'zyra's father, according to the authorities. Thompson, who is reportedly eight-and-a-half months pregnant, and Malone are both expected to appear before a trial judge Monday.