Kansas Girl Playing in Backyard When Passing Stranger Set Her on Fire


Jayden suffered third-degree burns to her head and first and second-degree burns to her hands. (Credit: WIBW)

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A brother and sister were simply playing in their backyard when, all of the sudden, the boy rushed inside, telling his uncle that his sister’s head was on fire.

The children’s uncle George said it was the worst thing he’s ever seen. He ran to the backyard and found his niece Jayden on fire.

The six-year-old’s hair was fully engulfed in flames and she was slapping her head trying to put them out, her uncle recounted. George used cold rags to treat the wounds and called 911.

Officers arrived less than a minute later and found Jayden had suffered non-life-threatening burns, according to the Topeka Police Dept. She was first taken to a nearby hospital for immediate treatment before going to a burn center in Kansas City.

George said she suffered third-degree burns to her head and first and second-degree burns to her hands.

“She was so terrified and scared about what had happened.”

Jayden’s brother, five-year-old Christopher, said a man they didn’t know came up to the fence and threatened to light his sister’s hair on fire.

“He scooted closer to us and he grabbed a cigarette out of his pocket and he lit it by my sister’s hair, and then her hair caught on fire,” Christopher said.

After that, Christopher said the man ran away.

George says Topeka Police Officers found a lighter by the fence, but that’s all they have. That, and Christopher’s description of an older while male. Christopher says the man had green shorts, a green shirt, and a blue or red hat.

“It’s unbelievable , I can’t imagine how someone could do this to such an innocent child who wasn’t doing anything wrong,” said Uncle George. “She was playing in her backyard on a nice day, and you can have the mindset to cause this pain to a child.”

George said Jayden was doing better in the hospital and the family was meeting with doctors to talk about the extent of her burns. George said Jayden becomes very distraught and upset when they bring it up, and doesn’t feel like talking about what happened.

The Topeka Police Dept. has asked the Topeka Fire Dept. Criminal Division to assist. Anyone with information related to this case is asked to call 785-368-9400 or CrimeStoppers at 785-234-0007.

This story was originally published by WIBW in Topeka, Kansas, and distributed by CNN Wire.

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