Relatives of a man accused of abusing the little sister of a 4-year-old girl who died Sunday after suffering burns said Tuesday that they never saw signs of neglect.
"If I saw anything going on, believe me, I would've stopped it," said Mamie Jones, whose stepson, Bobby Joseph Jones, 27, is in Tipton County Jail, charged with abusing his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter.
"He loves those children," the stepmother said Tuesday, sitting in her Brighton home, where the 4-year-old girl was scalded in the bath Thursday.
"It's an accident that happened," she said. "They're making him look like some kind of monster."
Bobby Joseph Jones was charged with child abuse Thursday after investigators at the Tipton hospital saw "physical injuries" on the 3-year-old girl, Turner said.
Investigators are awaiting autopsy results from the Hamilton County (Ohio) Medical Examiner's Office to determine a cause of death. No charges had been filed Tuesday in the death.
"The mother and (Jones) are the focus of the investigation right now because they were the caretakers at the house where the injuries happened," Turner said.
The 3-year-old girl and her 7-month-old brother are in the custody of the state Department of Children's Services.
Bobby Joseph Jones, his girlfriend and her three children had been staying with his father Bobby Jones Jr. and Mamie Jones at their home for about three weeks.
Mamie Jones said the mother, 25, was bathing the girls Thursday and had taken the 3-year-old out when the 7-month-old cried from the living room. The mother went to check the baby and the 4-year-old, Katlynn, turned the bath faucet to scalding hot. Katlynn suffered burns to her legs and back, Mamie Jones said. She and her husband were at work when the child was burned.
Bobby Jones Jr. said he asked his son about a bruise on the 3-year-old girl and his son said he'd spanked her on the bottom with a hairbrush.
"I didn't think he'd hurt a flea," the father said.