Aunt arrested in critical burning of niece

Photo Credit: Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff's Office

JENNINGS, La. (AP) – A 29-year-old woman is in custody a month after her 4-year-old niece was critically burned while in her care.

Brant Thompson, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s chief deputy, said Saturday that Gail Marie Brown was arrested late Friday on five charges including negligent injuring, obstruction of justice and prostitution.

She’s being held at the Jeff Davis Parish jail.

Thompson says Brown lied about how the child was burned. She initially told investigators a young boy at a park in Jennings ignited the child’s clothing Jan. 22 when in fact the girl and her cousin, Brown’s 6-year-old daughter, were left alone in a vehicle and the older child used a lighter to set the younger girl’s clothes on fire.

The child remains hospitalized at a pediatric burn unit in Galveston, Texas.

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