Gavin Lowery died after suffering severe burns
A two-year-old Louisiana boy died Saturday having sustained severe burns after being scalded with hot water — and his mother and her boyfriend now face charges, PEOPLE confirms.
Gavin Lowery died April 14, eight days after he was taken to a Shreveport hospital with burns on his legs, genitals and buttocks, according to an arrest warrant obtained by PEOPLE. The boy also had splash burns on his face and old and new bruises covering his body.
“It is still under investigation,” Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Glenn Springfield tells PEOPLE.
Police arrested Gavin’s 25-year-old mother, Lindsey McBride, and her boyfriend, John Harper, 32, on April 7. They are currently facing charges of second-degree cruelty to a child, but Steve Tew, District Attorney for the 4th Judicial District, tells PEOPLE he is considering second-degree murder charges against one or both suspects.
The charges against the pair have not yet been filed, Tew says. They have not yet been arraigned or entered pleas, and it was unclear if they have lawyers who could comment on their behalf.
McBride and Harper are being held in the Ouachita Correctional Center on a $65,000 bond.
Suspects’ Accounts Did Not Match Child’s Injuries: Warrant
Police were notified by social services on April 6 that Gavin had been taken to a hospital in Shreveport with second-degree burns. At the hospital, the boy “was moaning and appeared to be in severe pain,” the warrant states.
During an interview with police, McBride allegedly claimed Gavin had fallen down the stairs of their West Monroe home three days earlier. Shortly after his fall, McBride allegedly said the boy accidentally burned himself when he pulled a hot pot off the stove.
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The warrant alleges McBride waited 36 hours before she took Gavin to the Glenwood Hospital, from where he was then airlifted to a pediatric hospital unit in Shreveport.
According to the warrant, a hospital official told detectives that the boy had been “deprived of oxygen for an unknown period of time, possibly by choking.”
“The nurse said that the baby’s injuries do not match the version of events as told by Lindsey McBride and John Harper,” the warrant states. “The nurse also said that the child tested positive for amphetamines.”
Gavin’s father, John Lowery, who shared custody of the boy, told local media that family members hadn’t seen any signs of abuse.
“If either side of the family had seen any signs, we would have shut down shop,” he told KNOE. “This would not have happened.”
Lowery told the outlet he plans to dedicate himself to stopping child abuse.
“I’m going to do foundations, I’m going to give speeches, anything that will help a child, I’m going to do it and I’m going to push the issue,” he said.
About Gavin, Lowery said, “He was one of those kids that you could be mad at the world and he would come in and you would just light up. He was just what every parent would want in a child is what he was.”