Jayceon Charles’ parents, an 8-year-old boy who was severely burned at a friend’s house in Warren, Arkansas, are demanding answers, claiming that the investigation has been slow for two months.
Jayceon was staying at a friend’s house on August 9th when he called his parents, Lakiesha Belin and Justin Charles. Belin claimed that their phone call was cut off, and that when his father called Jayceon again, they heard him scream.
According to his parents, they were roasting hotdogs when “something in the fire exploded” and Jayceon was burned.
They rushed over to Jayceon’s house, where he was severely burned and covered in Vaseline and plastic wrap. They claimed that because no one at the house dialed 911, they were forced to transport him to the hospital on their own.
The young boy was placed on a ventilator and resuscitated twice in the hospital. He had multiple surgeries, including the removal of 5 inches of his small intestine. In addition to the severe burns that covered 80% of his body, he had kidney failure, sepsis, and brain damage.
Meanwhile, Jayceon’s grandfather, Earl Charles, called the police immediately after the incident.
“The stories that’s been told never sat right with me from the beginning,” he told Local 12. “I never understood why so many people dropped the ball and just didn’t show any concern.”
Jayceon’s mother also questioned why no one at the house immediately called them or 911 for assistance if “they had enough time” to wrap her son in plastic wrap and Vaseline.
Jayceon’s father believes what occurred was not an accident. He also believes that the investigation is not being prioritized by authorities because his son is Black and the family he was staying with is White.
It has been two months since the incident, and Jayceon’s family claims that investigators have only reached out a few times for witness interviews or medical reports, raising concerns that vital evidence may have been lost all along.
Most recently, they were told that Arkansas State Police will be taking over the investigation and will send the results to the Bradly County Prosecution Office.
Moreover, Jayceon is slowly recovering from the injuries but his family is still worried about his future. A GoFundMe page was set up to help with his medical bill expenses. It has so far raised more than $20,000.