54 year old nurse practitioner Oluyemisi Adebayo has been arrested and charged in the killing of a disabled toddler who was submerged in scalding bath water for about 30 second.
Adebayo was arrested on Wednesday April 28th in Queens, New York just as she was about to board a flight to Nigeria, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Authorities say Adebayo was taking care of 23-month-old Naomi Mondesire on April 21 when she prepared her for a bath.
The nurse allegedly told detectives she tested the water with her own hand before placing Naomi in the tub. But she noticed pieces of skin peeling off Naomi's legs when she took her out.
Doctors told police Adebayo's account of how the baby was burned was inconsistent with the nature of her injuries, according to a criminal complaint.
Police say Naomi was submerged up to her waist in 130-degree water for 30 seconds. The little girl died from thermal injuries to 50 per cent of her body Monday, three days after doctors at Nassau University Medical Center performed surgery on her.
Naomi's grandmother was heartbroken and furious at the woman she had hired to look after the little girl just one day before she was scalded.
Gardite Mondesire, 54, said she returned to her apartment on Memphis Avenue in the Rosedale section of Queens at around 7.25pm Tuesday to find her tenant running around the home picking up pieces of her granddaughter's skin.
When she got Adebayo on the phone, the nurse allegedly claimed she didn't know how Naomi got scalded.
'She said "It’s bad. I did something bad. The baby got burned,”' Mondesire told the New York Daily News. 'But she said she didn’t know how.'
Corey Brock, Naomi's father, challenged Adebayo's claims that she had tested the water before placing his daughter in the tub.
She claimed it was a mistake. She claimed she checked the water. It’s impossible,’ Brock told CBS News. ‘If she had checked the water, she would have been burnt also.’
Brock also pointed out that had the nurse been innocent, she would not have tried to flee the country Wednesday night.
The 54-year-old was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport at around 7am while trying to board a flight to Nigeria via London.
Adebayo, who according to her LinkedIn page has been a licensed nurse practitioner for more than 16 years, could face up to 25 years to life in convicted.
‘The defendant had been trained to heal and save lives – which she is accused of failing to fulfill,’ DA Brown said in a press release. ‘The tiny victim suffered extraordinarily painful injuries for several days before she died. This is a terribly sad and tragic case that could have been prevented.’
Naomi's mother, 32-year-old Cynthia Mondesire, said she had had two miscarriages before giving birth to Naomi - her only surviving child.
Naomi was born 25 weeks premature, requiring her to breathe through a tracheotomy and eat using a feeding tube.
‘With everything that she’s gone through, she was a fighter,’ Ms Mondesire told the News. ‘She was just starting to thrive.’
Before Naomi passed away Monday, her grandmother said she told the dying girl she was sorry and the child squeezed her finger in response. She will be laid to rest Saturday.