Day care worker, boyfriend accused burning 6-year-old girl

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ST. CLOUD, Fla. - A day care worker and her boyfriend were arrested on child abuse charges after a 6-year-old girl was hospitalized with second- and third-degree burns over 30 percent of her body, police said.

The girl's mother, Yadzia Ivelisse Morales, 32, and Roberto Juniro Lopez confessed to heating a large bowl of water in a microwave for two minutes and then forcing the child to stand in the shower while they poured the water over her, St. Cloud police said.

Investigators said Lopez's grandmother alerted authorities after seeing the burns and talking to the girl. The girl was burned on her face, back and shoulder.

While he was being taken to a waiting police car, Lopez was asked if he felt bad about what had happened.

"Yes, I do. I feel bad," he said.

Morales and Lopez are in the Osceola County Jail on a no-bond status. They are being charged with aggravated child abuse, child neglect causing great bodily harm and aggravated battery and domestic violence.

The young girl, who is recovering at Arnold Palmer Hospital, has been placed into protective custody, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families. Her 14-year-old brother is also in protective custody, authorities said.

Morales started working at the Shepard's Little Family child care center a week ago. Her employer said Morales' background check came back clean, and she didn't know Morales had been arrested until WFTV told her.