Police: Boy recovering in ICU after stepmom put him in bathtub filled with scalding hot water



WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. - A 4-year-old boy is recovering in the intensive care unit at a local hospital after police said his stepmother put him in a bathtub filled with scalding hot water, causing second-degree burns.

According to police, Jessye Cole placed the child in the water as punishment for bad behavior earlier this week.

“He’s so loveable,” said Barbara Barbera, the victim’s step grandmother Friday.

West Mifflin detectives were called to the scene early Tuesday morning to investigate.

Police said Cole brought the boy to the emergency room of Children’s Hospital Monday night.   According to police, he was in severe pain and had second-degree burns on more than half of his body.

“I feel sorry for the child.  I hope God blesses him with a full, speedy recovery,” said neighbor Clarence Jackson.

Cole is in the Allegheny County Jail charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children.  A judge set her bail at $500,000 Tuesday.

Channel 11 learned Friday that the boy’s father, Thomas Cole, has been charged in the case.  Police said the couple waited more than 36 hours after he was burned to bring him to a hospital.

On Friday, the boy’s mother said her son is out of a drug-induced coma.  Doctors have to do skin grafts, and the boy could be in the hospital for months.

CYS is involved in the case, and other children have been removed from the home, police said.