CHICAGO • A toddler left alone with her pre-school siblings in their Texas home suffered fatal burns after they put her in the oven and switched it on, US media reported.
J'Zyra Thompson, 19 months, was left unsupervised along with her three-year-old twin siblings in the Houston apartment. A five-year- old was also present.
Court records obtained by ABC-13 News in Houston said the twins told child protective services that one of them put their little sister in the oven, and the other one made it "hot".
Their mother, Mrs Raqual Thompson, 25, is set to appear in court on Monday on four counts of child endangerment, according to the Harris County Sheriff's office.
Mrs Thompson reportedly told police she had gone out with her boyfriend to collect a pizza and a prescription at the drug store when her child burned to death on Nov 16.
When they returned home, they found the three other children crying and pointing to the kitchen.
The oven had toppled over with the door face down on the floor. That happened when J'Zyra kicked the oven door while she was trapped inside, reported USA Today.
The oldest sibling, five, was apparently asleep at the time.
Child protective services, quoted by local media, said the couple had failed to alert a grandmother who lived in the same apartment complex that they were leaving the children unsupervised.
Neighbours expressed outrage that the children had been left alone. "Call a family member, call a friend, put them in daycare. Don't leave your kids at home, man," Ms Aisha Eason said. "This is serious right here. There is a baby, dead."
Another neighbour, Mrs Serenity Humphries, who has four kids of her own, told ABC-7 News: "It is very heartbreaking, very, very heartbreaking. It (leaving the children alone) is something I absolutely would not do.
"They are... at that age where they get into a lot of stuff."
The three surviving children are in foster care as the authorities could not find suitable relatives to care for them.