A mother left her toddler in their car, covered him in fuel, set him alight and then stood watching him burn, police say. Caylin Allise Watson is accused of trying to kill her 14 month-old son Kairon after stopping her car along a busy road in Columbia, South Carolina, on Sunday.
Other drivers who saw the blaze stopped their cars, got out and rushed to help Kairon. He was pulled from the burning vehicle alive, but suffered second and third-degree burns to a fifth of his body – including his face, legs, hands and feet – and remains in hospital.
Kairon’s dad Steven Bramsen says the toddler has already undergone one emergency surgery, and will need another, as well as skin grafts to help heal his wounds.
Police called to the scene of the fire noted that the toddler and Watson both ‘smelled strongly of accelerant that appeared to have been intentionally used to cause great bodily injury or death.’
A GoFundMe page set up by Bramsen said: ‘Kairon is my first and only 13 month old son who’s mother, on May 17th, set her car on fire with him in his car seat in the back of the car.
‘He has touched the lives of so many with his beautiful smile and his Sweet Soul. Growing up and being an adult in today’s society you never think anything like this can hit so close to home.’
Investigators have yet to share a motive for Watson’s alleged crime, although the mom had several minor driving-related convictions at the time of the fire.
She has been charged with crimes including attempted murder and first-degree arson, and is being held in jail without bond.
Bramsen has shared further updates on his son, who is being treated at the Augusta Burn Center in Georgia. Kairon is said to have responded well to his first surgery, with doctors saying it is unlikely he will have any scarring on his face.
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