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Woman charged after admitting to burning baby with lighter, holding baby’s face against running treadmill

(Provided Photo/ Delaware County Prosecutor's Office)

MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — A Fort Wayne woman has been formally charged with multiple counts of battery to a person younger than 14 years of age and neglect of a dependent resulting in injury.

Amber Vannatter, 20, was arrested Saturday. She is accused of holding the face of a friend’s baby against a running treadmill and burning the girl with a lighter while caring for her at a home in Muncie.

Vannatter has been formally charged with the following counts:

  • 4 counts of battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14 years of age
  • 2 counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in seriously bodily injury
  • 1 count of false informing

An initial hearing in the case has been set for Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Vannatter is currently being held at Delaware County Jail on $60,000 cash-only bail.

According to court documents, Vannatter said she had been feeling depressed while caring for her friend’s baby. She told police she held the child’s face against the treadmill after plugging it in. Vannatter also said she got a lighter and started burning the girl’s neck and arms. She said the baby later fell off a bench “while wriggling in pain” and hit her face, according to court documents.

Hospital staff said the baby could have scarring from her injuries, according to court documents.

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