Foster Child Burned

, Written by Craig Smullin, Posted: Mon, March 5 2012 at 4:35 PM, Updated: Mon, March 5 2012 at 5:41 PM

A foster parent is behind bars after allegedly holding a one-year old child in scalding hot water causing 1st and 2nd degree burns below the waist.
      At approximately 8 pm Sunday night the Jackson County Sheriff's Office received a call from RVMC, doctors there suspected that the 1 year old child covered in severe burns was a victim of abuse.
      28 year old White City resident Trevor Emptage behind bars today...  the Jackson County Sheriff's Department says Emptage held his one year old foster child in scalding hot water by force... after the child defecated in the tub during a bath.
    The water causing 1st and 2nd degree burns on the body from the waist down.
    "Every day every hour we work here we ask ourselves why do people do the things they do? There's never a good answer."
   At the Department of Human Services Child Welfare office in Medford... Linda LaNier says the staff, who placed the young child in emptage's custody, is saddened.
   "We tell the children this home is gonna be safe, and when something like this happens it's devastating for everyone."
      LaNier says all potential foster parents undergo a rigorous background check... including criminal records, references, countless interviews and much more.
    "It's very, very thorough."
    Emptage passed those checks... so DHS placed the child at his Cody Lane home... where no one answered the door when we knocked.
    But a neighbor who wishes not to be identified says Emptage's behavior was scary.
    "I told him before to control his animal (cat), he said go ahead and shoot it if i wanted to. As far as I know he has a short fuse with the kids, period."
   While the child is in a Portland hospital for treatment due to the severity of the injuries... DHS was called in to assist in removing a second child from the White City home.
      "When you're seeing the worst of humanity, and you're seeing the worst of humanity on the most innocent of humanity it bears a lot of weight... on your heart, on your soul, on everything."    Emptage was paid 639-dollars a month for care for the child... he is currently lodged at the Jackson County Jail for Assault in the First Degree and Criminal Mistreatment in the first degree.
      Bail is set at more than 1-million dollars. Additional charges are pending... and the case remains under investigation.

About the Author

Craig Smullin

NBC5 News Director Craig Smullin co-anchors NBC5 News at 6 and hosts the 5 on 5 Feature Interview on NBC5 News at 5.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Craig graduated from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California with a degree in Recreation Administration and Sports Management.

Since joining NBC5 News in 2005, Craig has performed virtually every job in the newsroom: News and Sports Reporter, Sports Anchor, Producer, series and segment Host and Anchor of NBC5 News at Sunrise and NBC5 News at 5. He became News Director in January, 2014.

When he's not managing a busy newsroom, Craig spends time with his wife, two young sons and two dogs. He is a dedicated fan of the San Francisco 49ers and Portland Trailblazers and loves snow boarding the slopes of Mt. Ashland.

Catch Craig anchoring weekdays on NBC5 News at 6pm.

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