Police blame boy's death on grandmother 2-year-old was burned by scalding water; no treatment sought


A 40-year-old Baltimore woman was charged yesterday with killing her 2-year-old grandson earlier this month by placing him in a bathtub of scalding hot water and failing to seek treatment for his severe burns, police reported.

Laura A. Snowden, 40, of the 1800 block of Guilford Ave., was charged with first-degree murder last night in connection with the death of Daries Talley.

A city ambulance crew took the boy to Johns Hopkins Hospital on April 1. He was pronounced dead on arrival. An examination revealed that he had suffered burns to his right foot and buttocks and had face and neck injuries, said Detective Robert J. Bowman, of the homicide unit.

Ms. Snowden, who also rode in the ambulance to the hospital, was charged with child abuse shortly afterward. An autopsy revealed that Daries had actually died hours before he was brought to the hospital and that he had been dead so long that rigor mortis had worn off and the body had gone limp, police said.

Yesterday, Ms. Snowden was taken from the Baltimore City Detention Center to the homicide unit where she was charged with murder.

Police filed the murder charge after receiving a toxicology report from the state medical examiner's office on Wednesday that showed Daries had died from blood poisoning caused by his untreated burns, Detective Bowman said.

Ms. Snowden has admitted that she placed the child in water that was so hot that it burned off the skin on his right foot and buttocks, Detective Bowman said. She has not offered an explanation for the alleged abuse, he added.

Police said Ms. Snowden called paramedics to her home to treat the boy on April 1. She accompanied the child to the hospital, leaving behind an 18-month-old granddaughter.

After police went to Ms. Snowden's house and discovered the abandoned child, they turned the girl over to the Baltimore Department of Social Services.

A couple of days before Daries died, his mother, Sharnieice Spellman, called her mother-in-law to discuss picking up the child, according to police.

But, the grandmother told her to leave the child at her home for "a couple of more days," police said.

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