Woman charged with abusing friend’s baby

Amber Vannatter, 20, of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Police were called to Ball Memorial Hospital on Friday, August 14 for a report of possible child abuse.  There, a detective spoke to the mother who informed them that a friend, Amber Vannatter was watching her child at her home in Muncie while she had been at work.


The mother reported that she had left for work at about 3 pm that day, and Vannatter had brought the child to her work at about 9:30 pm.   Upon seeing the injuries to her nearly one year old child, she took her to the emergency room.


Police contacted 20-year-old Vannatter who reportedly gave them several conflicting reports.


Eventually, she told investigators that she had gotten into an argument with her ex-boyfriend and was depressed.  When the child began to cry, she admitted to police that she held the child's face against a running treadmill and used a lighter to burn the child on the neck and arms.


She admitted to burning the child on two occasions, but denied striking or hitting the child.


The child was treated at the hospital for friction burns on her face, torso and legs.  She additionally had a broken wrist, injuries to her mouth and several burns.  Medical staff is said to have stated that scarring from the injuries was likely.  She was released from the hospital after treatment.


Vannatter is being held by the Delaware County Sheriff's Office in lieu of $60,000 bond.  The preliminary charges against her are two counts of neglect of a dependent, battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14, and battery on a person less than 14.