Austin mother charged for burning two-month-old son with sink water

An Austin mother is charged with injury to a child for burning her two-month-old son in the kitchen sink. The child was taken by helicopter to the burn unit at University Hospital in San Antonio with near fatal burns over more than 25 percent of his body.

On top of the burns the child also had fractures in both of his legs.

In February, Amairani Gonzalez-Santamaria told police she was bathing her two-month-old son in the sink while her two-year-old daughter played on a slide in the living room. She said her two year old fell off the slide and when she went to help she left the sink running with hot water. At least five minutes later she returned to the sink to find her son in scalding water with burns to his back, neck, arms and legs.

“Of course it's hard to see kids in this situation, parents in this situation, it didn't have to be this way. The kid's going to have scars for his whole life,” said Austin Police Department Det. John Brooks. 

During a search of Gonzales' apartment, investigators found that within 30 seconds the hot sink water reached 136 degrees. Gonzalez told police she was experiencing a lack of sleep and felt angry and exhausted as a parent.

“She was clearly overwhelmed as a young, new mother. She had two children and was overwhelmed with emotions for a variety of reasons,” Brooks said. 

Gonzalez also told police that during a diaper change her son pulled his legs up to his knees and she got overwhelmed and angry, punching the baby in the stomach. She later stated that the same thing happened the day she bathed the child and she pulled his legs down too hard, possibly causing the fractures.
Police said even though Gonzalez knew she was overwhelmed, she chose not to reach out.

“We're parents. We're supposed to have the answers ourselves, right? Not everybody does,” said Brooks.

For parents that don't have the answers, there are several local agencies willing to help.

“You can call Austin Police Department, you can call CPS, you can call Center for Child Protection. There are lots of resources we can put you in touch with to get you help and you shouldn't have to be suffering like this," Brooks said.

Gonzalez is charged with second degree felony injury to a child. If convicted she faces 2-20 years in prison.

Police said her son is doing great and recovering quickly.