HALTOM CITY, Texas -- Haltom City Police released a 911 call this week of Patricia Flores telling a dispatcher she'd been trying to treat her grandson's third-degree burns herself inside her Haltom City home.
"A couple days ago he burned himself," she says on the call.
But police say it hadn't been a couple of days; it had been almost a week in between when 2-year-old Lyfe "Gabe" Flores was burned and when his grandmother called for help, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
The affidavit says "Flores stated that six days ago she was preparing to do some cleaning in the home and ran some hot water into the bathtub for mopping purposes."
The document says Flores claims she left the toddler asleep in the bathroom while the water ran, and returned minutes later.
"Lyfe had pooped and peed on the bathroom floor and as Flores began to clean this up she noticed that Lyfe had burns to his legs and hands," it read.
It also says she claims the boy "...never yelled out or screamed with pain."
Those burns on 20 percent of his body eventually killed the little boy, known to his family as Gabe. Police confirm the toddler also had knocked out teeth and internal bleeding. The affidavit says there were also burns on his genitals and buttocks.
Patricia Flores is now charged in connection with his death. She's been charged with serious bodily injury to a child by omission, police say.
But Friday, Haltom City Police told News 8 there were other people in the home during the time the toddler suffered. Their involvement is being investigated, and they could face charges.
We don't yet know why no one else raised an alarm, but experts we spoke with say they've seen similar situations.
"Fear is probably driving some of that behavior," said Madeline McClure, CEO of TexProtects, a child protection association.
Family dynamics also come into play.
"It goes back to the family and who's kind of in control of that family," said Senior Policy Analyst Dimple Patel, who also works for TexProtects. "There's a lot of fear the children may be taken away if this happens, so people don't call, because they're afraid of getting outside people involved, essentially."
Whatever the reason, they say any kind of abuse or neglect needs to be reported before another child has to be laid to rest.
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