A teenage boy was discovered burned to death in a home in New York after his father claimed he fell into a bathtub with hot water.
Police responding to a 911 call found Josiah Green, 18, ‘with burns about the body’ and unconscious and unresponsive in bed in his apartment in Brooklyn.
Green was pronounced dead at the scene around 6.45am on Sunday, December 3, police said.
But police in New York said on Wednesday that the case has been ruled a homicide. However, no one was in custody and suspects were not immediately identified.
His father, who has not been named, said that Green fell into the bathtub and was burned by water two days before police arrived, sources said.
Green had cerebral palsy and took medication for his condition. His father cited that as the reason he was not able to give Green medicine for a head cold. The dad said he decided to run the hot water in hopes the steam would help.
The father also claimed he went to another room to charge his phone and that he heard a thud. Running back to the bathroom, the dad said he found that his son had fallen off the chair. The father said he moved his son to a bed and applied something on the burns rather than taking him to a hospital for treatment.
Green’s dad said he did not call police or emergency services right after the incident because he got scared.
Green had clumps of skin falling off, which was more severe than what would normally happen to someone lying in hot water for a short time frame, according to the New York post.
The chief medical examiner’s office ruled the cause of Green’s death as ‘thermal injuries to approximately 90% of body surface area in a person with cerebral palsy due to extreme premature birth’.
Though the death was ruled a homicide, it could have been accidental, police added , reiterating that they could decide to press charges depending on how more investigation unfolds.