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'House Of Horrors': Newark Woman Admits Scalding 3-Year-Old With Boiling Water

Patricia Buchan
Patricia Buchan Photo Credit: Essex County Prosecutor's Office

A Newark woman who lived in the same building with several other adults and children admitted in court that she punished a little boy living in the home by pouring boiling water on him, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office said Friday. 

Patricia Buchan, 29, struck a plea deal in which she will face up to five years in prison when she's sentenced in December. 

On Dec. 4, 2018, Buchan was watching the three-year-old at her home in the 200 block of Clinton Avenue when the boy urinated on the floor of Buchan's son's room. Buchan is not related to the victim. 

She ordered the boy to get undressed and get into the bathtub, then took a pot of boiling water from the stove and poured it on him. The child suffered second-degree burns to the lower part of his body. Authorities learned of the abuse from Newark preschool officials. 

“This child lived his first three years in a house of horrors,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Michael Morris. “Today’s plea resolves the case without the ordeal of the children having to testify.” 

The boy lived in the home with four of Buchan's children as well as a sixth child. Buchan, who was pregnant when the incident occurred, now has a fifth child. 

Buchan also shared the home with five other adults, who were also arrested: Natacha Smith, 44, the mother of the victim; Buchan's mother Mary, 56; Buchan's aunt Patricia Gamarra, 63; Buchan's sister Bridget, 24; and Smith's boyfriend Homer Searcy, 40. They were all charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child. 

The other adults have been indicted and their cases are pending. 

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