Couple arrested after baby severely burned, injected with meth, Sheriff Salazar says

Salazar: Other children were found in filthy RV, one other child tested positive for drug

Left: Amanda Mann, 31 Right: Dustin Lawrence, 30 (Bexar County Sheriffs Office)

SAN ANTONIO – A woman and man were arrested in an “infuriating” child abuse case after their 1-year-old girl suffered severe burns and tested positive for meth, and five other children were found living in “filthy” conditions, BCSO Sheriff Javier Salazar said.

Amanda Mann, 31, and Dustin Lawrence, 30, have each been charged with endangering a child, endangering a child risking bodily injury, injury to a child resulting in serious bodily injury-reckless, and four counts of abandoning/endangering a child with intent, records with the Bexar County Jail show.

Their bonds are each set at $450,000.

In a news conference on Monday, Salazar said law enforcement first learned of the case when the 1-year-old, who only weighed 18 pounds, was taken to the hospital on Saturday night.

The baby had suffered burns on her face and throughout her body, Salazar said. It appeared boiling hot liquid either spilled on her or was poured on her Friday evening.

Deputies were initially told the baby was burned by hot water in the shower, but Mann later said she was burned with boiling water from a pot, as they were making spaghetti.

Salazar said they are investigating if the baby pulled the pot down on herself, or if it was accidentally or intentionally done by someone.

The following details may be disturbing to some readers.

Her parents chose to not seek medical care, Salazar said, and instead treated her with a burn ointment.

They injected her with meth to help with the pain, Salazar said.

The baby fell asleep and the following day, when the parents took the sheets off her, the baby’s skin fell off, Salazar said.

At some point, they gave her chest compressions. It is unknown if the baby ever lost consciousness, he said.

Mann and Lawrence called a family friend for help, and the family friend suggested taking her to the hospital on Saturday night, more than 24 hours after the baby received her injuries.

Salazar said after taking the baby to the hospital, Mann left and BCSO asked for the public’s help in finding her.

Mann and Lawrence were taken into custody on Sunday afternoon.

Salazar said deputies found several other children in a small, filthy RV where they were living, including 2-month-old twins, a 2-year-old, a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old.

Mann gave birth to the twins at home, and they never received medical care, Salazar said. He added that it appeared the 8-year-old took care of the other children while the couple took the 1-year-old to the hospital.

One other child also tested positive for meth.

“They had a living hell,” Salazar said.

The sheriff called the case “pretty infuriating,” adding the baby had to endure “outright torture.”

“We have literally thrown every possible charge we could,” he said. “I hope to God they stay in jail for the better part of the rest of their lives based on what we’ve seen.”

The children are in the care of Child Protective Services.

About the Authors

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.

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