Bradenton couple arrested for child neglect; 10-month-old burned, left alone in car

A mother and her boyfriend are facing charges after a 10-month-old baby was left alone in a hot shower, causing second-degree burns. The wounded child was later left alone in a car while the couple shopped at Wal-Mart.

Cayla Zarvas, 24, and Dennis Zipprian, 24, were arrested Monday, October 17. They are charged with child neglect with great bodily harm.

According to the affidavit provided by Manatee County Sheriff's Office, Zarvas left the child in the care of Zipprian, her boyfriend, while she went to work at Pizza Hut Sunday night..

Zipprian told deputies that he was taking a shower with the child at around 8:30 p.m. that night. When he finished showering, Zipprian went into another room to dry off and get dressed-- leaving the 10-month-old baby, who does not yet walk, in the shower unattended.

The child began to cry, and Zipprian claims that it wasn't until five to seven minutes of the baby being left alone that he checked on him. By that time, the water was very hot and the child was burned on the genitals, buttocks, and face. Zipprian noticed that two of the burns on the baby's inner thigh had already blistered.

Zipprian then took the child to Zarvas's work. Upon seeing the burns, she clocked out and all three drove home where they claim to have examined the baby's wounds more closely.

But just before 11 p.m., the baby still had not received medical attention. Instead, he was sitting alone in the car while his mother and Zipprian shopped at Walmart. The couple purchased popcorn and cereal, along with burn cream and gauze pads. They believed they would be able to treat the child's significant injuries on their own.

The couple finally sought medical attention early Monday morning. By then, according to the affidavit, second-degree burns had fully formed into blisters around the baby's groin and buttocks. The child was admitted to Tampa General Hospital, where he spent the last three days in the burn unit.

Hillsborough County's Child Protection Team examined the victim, and called the injuries "highly suspicious," stating they were "indicative of abuse of neglect."

From the time of the incident to the time the couple brought the child to the hospital, more than five hours had passed.

Zipprian and Zarvas are currently in custody at the Manatee County Jail.