A Black family in Arkansas is looking for answers. A family member was severely burned across his body at the home of a white family who didn’t bother calling them or emergency services.
According to Local 12, 8-year-old Jayceon Charles was visiting a friend at their house. The plans were for him to sleep over with his friend so that he would go to an amusement park the next day.
They were reportedly roasting hot dogs and an accident took place. Jayceon’s parents, Lakiesha Belin and Justin Charles, stated that their son called them and hung up and when Justin called the boy back, he heard Jayceon screaming in the background.
The parents rushed over to the house and discovered him covered in Vaseline and plastic wrap. He was severely burned and the parents had to drive him to the hospital as the family did not bother calling 911. The family wonders why no one was called.
This incident took place on August 9 and Jayceon is still hospitalized. He suffered severe burns across 80% of his body. Jayceon also suffered from kidney failure, sepsis, and brain damage and had to be placed on a ventilator and resuscitated twice. Over the course of his hospital stay, he’s had multiple surgeries; doctors have removed five inches of his small intestine.
Although Jayceon’s grandmother called the police, the family states that there has been a lack of investigation. Two months later, the family says that investigators rarely contacted them for witness interviews or medical reports. They fear that since the incident took place during the summer, that important evidence may have been lost since then.
Justin feels this was no accident and due to Jayceon being Black and the family’s house he was staying at is white, investigators haven’t given the case priority.
“The stories that’s been told never sat right with me from the beginning,” said Earl Charles, Jayceon’s grandfather. “I never understood why so many people dropped the ball and just didn’t show any concern.”
Last week, they were informed that the Arkansas State Police will be taking over the investigation.
A GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up for Charles.
“Jayceon was badly burned on August 9th, 2022 in Warren, Arkansas while visiting a friend’s house. He has been in ICU at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital since the incident. Jayceon has suffered burns over 80% of his body, not to mention that he’s coded twice and had to have a trachea placed in his neck. Doctors have had to remove 5 inches of his small intestine and he’s had sepsis. Our prayer is that Jayceon is able to fully recover and come back bigger and better than before. I ask that you please have and show compassion to this baby. Any and all donations will truly be appreciated.”