Most parents assume that one of the safest places your kids can play is in your very own backyard. For 6-year-old Jayden Beddo, even playing in her backyard couldn’t protect her from a vicious attack. Jayden suffered third-degree burns to her head after a stranger lit her hair on fire with a cigarette.
This story is so alarming and so out of left field that it’s hard to believe it happened at all. According to Jayden’s 5-year-old brother Christopher, the siblings were playing in their backyard in Topeka, Kansas, when the attack occurred.
Christopher recounted to WIBW news, “He scooted closer to us then he grabbed a cigarette out of his pocket and he lit it by my sister’s hair, and then her hair was caught on fire.”
Christopher immediately ran inside to get his uncle for help. George Hearne, the children’s uncle, called the attack “something out of a horror movie.” He described young Jayden’s head as completely engulfed in flames. Hearne tried to put the fire out with cold rags and then called 911.
Christopher was able to describe the anonymous attacker to the police as an older white male wearing green clothing and a hat. Christopher said that after Jayden’s hair was lit with the cigarette, the stranger ran away. Police found a cigarette lighter near the fence of the backyard.
As for Jayden, this random attack will haunt her for the rest of her life. After suffering third-degree burns to her head and first- and second-degree burns to her hands, Jayden is now recovering at the burn unit in the University of Kansas Hospital. She will likely suffer permanent scarring that could affect how her hair grows back. Jayden is still distraught whenever the attack is mentioned.
This event is truly horrifying because there is no rhyme or reason to what happened. The fact is that any parent should be able to send their young children into the backyard to play without fear of such danger. As the children’s uncle pointed out, a person has to be truly disturbed to cause this type of pain to a child.
Whenever stories like this surface, internet conspiracy theories abound. A number of commenters suggest that the children were playing with a lighter without a parent’s permission and blamed the accident on a mysterious attacker. Topeka police believe Christopher and are still investigating leads into the case.
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