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Woman Allegedly Held Baby’s Face To Moving Treadmill, Burned Her With Lighter Because She Was Depressed Over Fight With Boyfriend

Amber Vannatter was supposed to be babysitting for a friend, but when she returned the baby girl to her mother, the child was bleeding from her mouth and had a broken wrist, burns and significant abrasions, authorities say.

By Jill Sederstrom
4 Disturbing Cases of Nanny Crimes

An Indiana woman has been accused of holding a baby’s face against a running treadmill and burning the child with a lighter in a horrific case of alleged child abuse.

Amber Vannatter, 20, is now facing three counts of battery and three counts of neglect of a dependent after investigators allege she confessed to abusing her friend’s baby because she'd been depressed, according to WXIN.

Muncie Police began investigating on Friday after they were called to the Ball Memorial Hospital for a possible child abuse case.

The child’s mother told police she'd dropped her nearly 1-year-old daughter off with Vannatter around 3 p.m. Friday on her way to work, according to the Muncie Star Press.

Kris Swanson, a detective on the case, told the newspaper that Vannatter took the injured baby to her mother’s workplace later that night at around 9:30 p.m.

Amber Vannatter Pd

The child was bleeding from her mouth and had a broken wrist, burns and significant abrasions to her face, torso and legs, according to court documents obtained by WXIN.

Authorities tracked down Vannatter and questioned her about the child’s severe injuries. Police said she initially gave conflicting accounts about how the child got hurt, before she allegedly confessed that she had been depressed because she’d gotten into an argument with her boyfriend and had injured the child.

She allegedly told police that she held the child's face against a running treadmill after the baby started crying. She also allegedly admitted to using a lighter to burn the baby’s neck and arms.

She said she never struck or hit the child, but did allegedly admit to burning the child on two occasions, police said.

Medical officials who cared for the baby girl said she'll likely have scarring from the injuries.

Vannatter was booked into the Delaware County jail around 4 a.m. Saturday and is being held on a $60,000 bond, the paper reports.

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