Video Shows Timeline Of Vinita Boys In Sun At Splash Pad, Police Say
VINITA, Oklahoma -
The Vinita police chief says investigators have a timeline of how long severely sunburned and blistered boys were at a splash pad with their daycare on Friday.
VPD Chief Bobby Floyd said security camera footage shows the children were outside from 9:45 a.m.-11:30 a.m., taking two breaks. The chief said the children went to the splash pad Monday, Wednesday and Friday that week and added that the parents signed a release.
He said the daycare admitted it did not put sunscreen on any of the children there because none of the parents provided it, though the daycare claimed to police it had requested parents bring some. There no reports of other children getting burns that day.
Shaunna Broadway, mother to 5-year-old Trae Wells and 7-year-old Conner Harvey, says Harvey told her they were outside much of day without shirts or sunscreen.
"I've said since Day One -- I want to provide justice for the boys," Floyd said.
The security camera footage from the courthouse, which isn't being released yet, gives solid proof, Floyd said, that children were at the splash pad for one hour and 50 minutes.
In that time, he said they took two 20 minute breaks in the shade before walking back to the daycare center at 11:30.
“They didn't come back during the heat of the day; they were here in the morning hours,” Floyd said.
We found the EPA UV Index for that morning in Vinita. At 10 a.m. it was at a 4, which generally means it would only take 30 minutes to burn. One hour later, it had jumped to 7, which takes an average of only 20 minutes to burn. Those times could be more or less depending on each person's complexion.
Of the eight to ten children being cared for, he said only two were burned. The chief says other parents told investigators the boys' burns appeared mild and pinkish when they saw them at the end of the day.
Floyd says he's been in contact with numerous doctors who tell him it's possible a petroleum-based lotion, if applied to the boys when they got home, could have increased the effects and potentially caused the horrible blisters. The chief said that's what detectives are looking for at the boys' grandfather's home, which is where they were on Friday evening.
"The possibility that a lotion was applied to the burns in the early stages and could have increased the effects of the burns and might have potentially caused them to blister," said Floyd.
The police department is searching the home where the boys were staying Friday night, hoping to find what may have been used that was most likely meant to help the boys, not hurt them more.
Floyd said, "I think a person that loves the boys dearly might have made a mistake."
The boys are being treated at Shriners Hospital in Texas for second- and third-degree burns. They now are at a secondary care facility. Trae is itching a lot, but doing great. Conner, whose burns were more severe, isn't feeling as well, but woke up Thursday asking for waffles, which his mom says is worth celebrating.
The 'Happiness Is A Learning Center' daycare shut down for good Monday after Oklahoma's Department Human Services asked the facility to cease operations during the investigation. The daycare has not commented on the accusations.
DHS and Vinita police continue to investigate.