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Toddler Burns to Death after Siblings Lock Her in Oven

The Short of It

Nineteen-month-old J'Zyra Thompson was found dead in a Houston apartment after her two 3-year-old siblings locked her in an oven and turned it on. They were all left home alone.

The Lowdown

According to KTRK in Houston, Racquel Thompson left J'Zyra and her three older children, all under 5 years old, by themselves while she and her boyfriend went to Domino's to pick up a pizza and Walgreens to get a prescription. That was when, according to court records cited by KTRK, one of the 3-year-olds locked J'Zyra in the oven and another one turned it on. The toddlers said she kicked the oven door from inside as they made it "hot."

Thompson attempted CPR when she got home, but it was too late—the child had "severe burn marks" and was pronounced dead.

Court records show Child Protective Services has been watching Thompson and her boyfriend for a number of reasons. Thompson told them she often left her kids alone at home while she went to drive her boyfriend to work. Case workers said she did not alert the children's grandmother she was leaving, even though she lives in the same apartment complex.

"All I can tell you is they're good people; they keep their kids together, so I don't know what happened," grandmother Gina Dennis told KHOU TV. "Never leave your child home alone. Never."

"Call a family member; call a friend; put them in daycare. Don't leave your kids at home, man," added neighbor Aisha Eason. "This is serious right here. There's a baby dead."

The Upshot

This is the second time this month a toddler has tragically died after being left home alone by parents. And apparently, this was not an isolated incident, as other neighbors told KHOU they had repeatedly seen the toddler and her siblings unsupervised.

"With just a Pamper on, no shirt, no shoes or nothing," neighbor Miranda Oneil Johnson said. "I'm like, 'Where is the momma or the daddy?'"

Where indeed.

No charges have yet been filed—although they are expected to be—and the children were last reported to be in foster care. Thompson is seven months pregnant with her current boyfriend's child.

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