A 19-month-old infant girl in Houston, Texas, was discovered dead this week after she was placed in an oven that was then switched on while she and her young siblings were left home alone, according to authorities.
Houston police said Tuesday that J'Zyra Thompson was found dead by officers Monday night next to the stove in her family's apartment. The child had "severe burn marks," according to authorities.
"The child's parents were not in the apartment when the incident occurred," police said in a statement. "At this time, the incident appears to be an accident."
The 19-month-old was left home alone with a 5-year-old, and two 3-year-olds, police told Click2Houston.
According to court records seen by ABC13, mother Racquel Thompson told officials she left the children home alone while she and her boyfriend, who is not thought to be the children's father, went out for pizza.
ABC 13 reported the children told investigators one of them placed the infant in the oven, while another turned it on to make it "hot."
Child Protective Services (CPS) has reportedly initiated legal action to take emergency custody of the children. Court filings from the child welfare workers reportedly state that CPS workers believe criminal charges will be filed against Thompson.
Frederick Price, the father of the children and Thompson's estranged partner, told ABC13 he is looking to gain custody of the children. "She was a cute little baby. I just didn't know if that was my daughter or not," he said of J'Zyra, noting he had not taken a paternity test.
A photo uploaded to Racquel Thompson's Facebook account in November last year showed the infant smiling while lying on a bedspread. "My baby J'Zyra ," Thompson wrote.
"She was a sweet baby," Gina Dennis, the child's grandmother, told Click2Houston. "This is unexplainable. I have no words."