A Nigerian nurse, Oluyemisi Adebayo, was nabbed Wednesday as she was about to board a plane out of the United States and leave behind her horrific crime — the killing of a 22-month-old girl from a bath so scalding-hot the child’s skin peeled off, police said.
The premature toddler was born at just 25 weeks and needed a tracheotomy tube to breathe.
Naomi spent her first year in the hospital, her grandmother said, and still needed to be fed through a tube.
Around 7:25 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, Adebayo, a licensed nurse, submerged little Naomi in water so hot that it actually burned pieces of skin off the child, according to authorities. The young girl died Monday, April 27.
“She couldn’t even scream,” said Naomi’s grandmother Gardite Mondesire, 54, who was at a nearby library when a tenant called her with the terrible news.
“When I got home, my tenant was running around picking up pieces of skin. It was all over the floor. It was all over the tub,” she said.
Mondesire called Adebayo and asked her what happened. “She said ‘It’s bad. I did something bad. The baby got burned,’” Mondesire said. “But she said she didn’t know how.”
Adebayo was arrested around 7a.m. Wednesday, April 29 at Kennedy Airport as she tried to board a flight for Nigeria, where she is from, authorities said. She was charged with murder.
The toddler was rushed to Nassau University Medical Center with second- and third-degree burns on more than 50 per cent of her body, according to officials.
“She’s claiming it was a mistake,” said 35-year-old Corey Brock, Naomi’s father. “It’s impossible. She knows what she did because she was trying to flee the country.”
Because of the child’s existing poor health, she was unable to fight off pneumonia and a blood infection that the medical examiner later determined was caused by the burns.
“The tiny victim suffered extraordinarily painful injuries for several days before she died,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. “This is a terribly sad and tragic case that could have been prevented.”
Adebayo told cops she had placed her hand in the water before putting Naomi into the bath and only realized the dangerous temperature when she took the toddler out and saw the skin on her legs peeling off, according to the Queens DA’s office.
But medical workers later told investigators the nature of the injuries did not fit with Adebayo’s account, and that the child was likely submerged waist-deep in 130-degree water for 30 seconds, according to officials.
Authorities believe that Adebayo intentionally put the child in the dangerously hot water, although her motive was unclear.
Naomi’s grieving mother struggled to find the words to describe her loss.
“She was the strongest person I knew, not baby, strongest person I ever knew,” said a shaken Cynthia Mondesire.“It’s senseless. She was my only baby.”
The 32-year-old medical assistant said she suffered two miscarriages before Naomi was born.
“With everything that she’s gone through, she was a fighter,” Mondesire said. “She was just starting to thrive.” (madailygist.com)