Mom accused of burning 6-year-old son's hands as punishment

EVERETT, Wash. -- Police have arrested a Lynnwood woman accused of burning her 6-year-old's hands as punishment.

Karina Torrescano Hernandez, 27, was arrested Wednesday night for investigation for domestic violence.

School officials first heard about the boy's burn from another student on Sept. 25, according to the statement of probable cause. But when they asked the boy how he had gotten injured, he refused to answer and began crying.

Officials examined the boy's hands and found "red marks on the palms" that looked like they "could have been caused by an electric stove element or something similar," the document said.

Investigators, with the help of an interpreter, questioned the boy's mother who said she believed her son burned his hands while trying to toast marshmallow on the stove. Hernandez said she often naps in the afternoons because she works the night shift, and she believes the incident occurred while she and her 3-year-old son were sleeping.

The boy hid the injuries from her for two days, the mother said, then later claimed he had hurt his hands while playing on the monkey bars. Hernandez said she did not seek medical care for the boy, because she was afraid the state would take him away from her.

But the boys' babysitter told investigators a different story.

The woman said she had heard the boy had been intentionally burned "because he had misbehaved," the statement said. The babysitter said she had been worried about the boys because they seemed "exceptionally compliant" and because they were worried about angering their mother, whom she described as "stressed."

A doctor at Children's Hospital examined the boy's hands and determined there were four separate burn patterns, "indicating multiple contacts, not one," the statement said. The doctor also found a scar on the boy's head, neck shoulder and buttocks.

Investigators questioned the boys, who each admitted their mother had burned the 6-year-old's hands on the stove. The older boy said she had dones so "because I touched an iPad," and added she had poured salt on his hands afterward causing "more owie."

The boys added their mother often hit them with a big spoon, a shoe or a "witch's broom."

When detectives went to talk to Hernandez on Wednesday, she told them her attorney had advised her not to answer any more questions. Police arrested her and booked her into jail for investigation of assault of a child in the second degree.

Friend and neighbor Lisa Infante said she was shocked to learn about the alleged incident, which she believes is the result of a big misunderstanding.

"None of us here that live here could even imagine her doing something like that to her child. She really takes really good care of her kids," said Infante. "She's a good person. A very good person."

Hernandez is being held on $25,000 bail. She has no prior criminal record.