GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - A 9-year-old child from Gonzales lit a "single popcorn kernel" with a cigarette lighter in September 2015 and it left him with severe burns on his upper body. The kernel popped in his hand and landed on his shirt, catching his shirt on fire. The child was released from the hospital in October 2015 and into the care of his father, 30-year-old Joseph Babin.
After being released from the hospital, deputies say the child never showed up for his follow-up appointments and the doctor could not reach Babin after multiple attempts.
The Department of Children and Family Services was notified by the hospital of the situation. DCFS then notified the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office. In December 2015, deputies opened an investigation.
On Dec. 10, 2015, the child's mother picked up the child to spend time with him and found the wound was severely infected. She brought the child to the hospital where medical personnel discovered the child's burn wound had not been cared for since he was released from the hospital in October.
Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Babin for one count of second degree cruelty to a juvenile. When detectives went to Babin's home to arrest him, he was not there and deputies were unable to locate him.
Two months later, on Feb. 1, Babin was found at a home on Norwood Road in Gonzales. He was arrested with the assistance of the U.S. Marshal's Service.
He was booked into the Ascension Parish Jail where his bond was set at $50,000 by Judge Turner.