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Sunday, Jun 24, 2018
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North Port mom accused of child neglect

A North Port mother is facing child neglect charges after severe burns were found on her 2-year-old son, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said.

According to the arrest warrant, on Jan. 25, Devon Rowland, 24, was taking care of her son, with whom she shares custody with her ex-husband. That evening, she phoned her ex-husband and told him that while blow-drying the boy’s hair after giving him a bath, she briefly left the room to check on her 2-month-old baby and came back to find he had somehow burned his genitals on the blow dryer, the warrant states.

She told her ex-husband she didn’t want to take the boy to the emergency room because she was afraid it would be reported to the Department of Children and Families, the warrant sayd.

On Jan. 29, the child was transferred to his father, and during a diaper change the severity of the injuries became known -- the boy had burns to his genitals as well as his left thigh. The boy was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s satellite unit in North Port, where the treating physician said the burns were inconsistent with an accident, the warrant said.

According to detectives, during an interview Rowland said when she had left the child, the blow dryer was still plugged in and there was about an inch of water still in the tub. She also said the blow dryer is old and defective.

Rowland was arrested today and is being held without bail on a charge of child neglect with great bodily harm, according to jail records.

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