January 07, 2009

Fredrick And Sharon Wessel - Arrested After Allowing Child’s Severe Burns To Go Untreated For Nearly Two Weeks

Here's the recording of the neighbor who called in the tip (speakers on)

Indianapolis, Indiana (The Weekly Vice) -- An Indianapolis couple has been arrested after authorities say the pair refused to seek professional medical treatment as their daughter agonized over severe burns for almost two weeks.

Fredrick Wessel, 48 and Sharon Wessel, 35, were arrested Wednesday on felony child neglect charges after a neighbor's tip lead police to the discovery of the child's injuries.

According to investigators, the 11-year-old girl's silk pajamas caught fire Christmas Eve when she leaned against a propane heater that was being used to heat the house. The incident caused multiple 2nd and 3rd-degree burns to the child's legs and buttocks.

Police say the only treatment the girl appeared to have received was dabs of moisturizing cream.

Police became aware of the incident when a concerned neighbor called in a tip describing the the agony the girl appeared to be in. When officers arrived at the couple's 343 Villa Avenue home, they found the child crying, laying face down on the sofa.

"She was covered with what looked like an old white T-shirt," said officer Nicole Bockting. "The T-shirt was stuck to her injuries with dried blood and body fluids."

When the couple was asked why they didn't seek medical help for the child, mention was made that they were afraid they would get in trouble for the manner in which she was burned.

The child was transported to the burn unit at Riley Hospital for Children, where she is now listed in stable condition.

The Weekly Vice Opinion:

This will be the only post of the day - as I'm too upset to write much else today. If you haven't really seen a 3rd-degree burn lately, go have a look here and come back. You'll see why my spirit is rather crushed for one evening. TWO FRIGGEN WEEKS this girl suffered with this kind of injury. It's just unfathomable.

We can't release the little girl's name, but we want whatever other family she has to know that this story runs deep at The Weekly Vice. If you have any updates, please let readers here know. I know they'll want to know this girl is being loved and cared for.

Fred and Sharon, there is no pit in hell deep enough or hot enough for the likes of you both. To address you with a comment is like talking to an ashtray. There's no point.

To the neighbor who called in the tip: All we can do is say "thank you." That call ended a torture that no child (or even an animal) should ever be forced to endure.

Danny Vice
The Weekly Vice

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Anonymous said...

If only we could choose our parents. The father looks extremely batshit crazy. I have a suspicion this couple--while denying the girl medical care,had no problem purchasing alcohol.

crazyaquariusgurl said...

geezus! that is just a sick couple of people. i had second degree burns years back and could barely move for months. i can't even fathom what she is going through.i hope this little girl will be ok and placed with someone who will actually care for her. i'm just sad hearing about this.

Anonymous said...

Just an fyi:

The Wessels were arrested Wednesday and held without bond in the Marion County Jail on preliminary charges of felony child neglect.

The girl remained Wednesday in Riley Hospital for Children, where she was being treated for burns to her legs, buttocks and back.


Fredrick Wessel was convicted of child molesting in March 1989. A Marion County judge sentenced him to five years in prison and three years' probation, records show.

MC said...

many thanks to the neighbor, whoever he is.

Momma Santise said...

Two weeks?!!? Are you kidding me?! I am sure this children was in agonizing pain and hardly out of the house but wouldn't another family member have come to the home or something in 2 weeks!?!? Seen another person in 2 weeks? My god, the amount of self hatred these parents must have to do this to their own child is unheard of. I feel so sickened by this act.
I hope the parents have her burn pics posted in their cells blown up to poster sizes and have to look at them each and every waking hour of their horrible exhistance.
On another note - I would like to help the girl - and not the parents obviously - does anyone know of a fund set up for her and her medical treatment?

Jody said...

This story goes well beyond sad. I can't begin to imagine the pain this young girl endured for so long. My stepfather died a year ago as a result of second- and third-degree burns he suffered in a house explosion after copper thieves cut propane lines and let the house fill with gas. Those criminals have yet to be arrested, but at least those in this story are behind bars where they belong. I pray the court system never returns this child to such unfit parents.

Danny is right; please keep us posted as to this child's progress. My heart and prayers go out to her.

Anonymous said...


Man Calls Medics For Himself While Girl's Burns Untreated

INDIANAPOLIS -- The father of an 11-year-old girl whose second- and third-degree burns went untreated for nearly two weeks called an ambulance twice for himself during that time, records show.

Doctors: Girl Could Lose Legs Following Severe Burns


SandraD. said...

That poor little Girl! It breaks my heart to think of the pure agony that she's endoured for what must have seemed like an eternity. Not to mention how heartbroken she must feel knowing her own Parents didn't care enough to help her. You could tell they were scumbags just by looking at them! "Someone should put 2nd & 3rd degree burns on the Sick, Twisted, Pieces of Chit a little each day for the rest of their lives or until their cooked!" I see he's also a pedofile. That's just freakin great! I can't help but wonder what other kinds of hell she's had to live threw in her young 11yrs. She shouldn't have been around the pedofile to
begin with, let alone living with him.
..And to the Sick B**tch who actually blamed the little girl
for getting to close to the heater, your just as Sick &
Twisted as they are! I know this will be hard for you to do
with such a tiny brain, but think back to how cold it was
that day! If they were such great parents as you say... then
why didn't they have heat in the house? Or was that the little girls fault too? U Have problems Lady! I just pray
you don't have kids too!!
..THANK YOU, to the man who called 911, you saved her
life I'm sure! ..Also Thanks to anyone who can provide
any info, I too would like to make a donation for her and
send some gifts because we already know what her
Christmas was like. Hopefully that will help cheer her up
when she gets better and also let her know that she's
special and there are alot people out there that care about her.

vegasgirl said...

My heart goes out to this poor child. I cannot imagine the physical pain she went through, more damaging will be the psychological pain of thinking her sperm donor & broodmare (these are not parents) didn't care enough for her to get her the help she needed.

Mr. Vice, please keep us updated on this child. Thank you.

Sharon said...

When I was two years old, I was severely burned over 52% of my body with a 5% chance of living. I am overwhelmingly saddened that this poor girl is suffering and was suffering in such a way.

As a forty three year old woman with four kids, I want to ask this question...


I think this should be a wake up call for us all to start being a little bit more nosey about our community and the precious children in it.

camom1978 said...

Danny V., any news on the child?

I'm too shocked and sad to make any real sensible comment about this case, just one question... WHY??????

Danny Vice said...

CAMOM1978, the last I heard things were not going well. The girl, named Heather, had surgery for her injuries and the doctors were stating that should might lose her legs.

She had to be carried home after she was released from the hospital.

It was determined that 14% of her body was burned.

Both of them were still in jail awaiting court last I heard.

This is a really, really sad story.

camom1978 said...

Danny, Thankyou for the update. I continue to pray daily for this childs recovery. I just feel so badly for her. It's just sad the number of these incidence that happen daily. Makes me very sad!!

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