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Sep 22, 2010 6:58 PM by Melissa Hawkes

New Iberia Couple Arrested for Allegedly Burning a Toddler

A New Iberia couple is accused of burning a one year-old child.

"It's a terrible thing that happened, something incomprehensible," explained Lieutenant Ryan Turner of the Iberia Sheriff's Office.

Turner said Officials from a local hospital called his office Tuesday, saying a baby with severe burns had been brought into the hospital.

Turner said, "severe burns over fifty percent of his body. I think fifty-nine percent."

Turner couldn't get into specifics about what happened in Chiquita Bell's residence on Saint Joseph Street in New Iberia, but he tells KATC this "it was scalding water and detectives believe it to be intentionally. A crime scene was set up at the residence and based on the evidence and statements made-- that's when the detectives made the arrest."

The child's mother---25-year old Chiquita Bell and her boyfriend 27-year old Tristain Bartley--- were arrested both for second degree cruelty to a juvenile. Bell also faces one count of accessory after the fact.

"The juvenile has seen been transported to the burn center in Shreveport, " Turner said. "He is in critical, but stable condition."

Bell was released from the Iberia Parish Jail, but Bartley still remains in jail with a bond set at $500,000.

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