Independence woman and her mother are accused in child abuse case

Katie Grimes
Katie Grimes

Authorities have charged an Independence woman and her mother with child abuse or neglect after the woman allegedly poured scalding bleach water on her 2-year-old daughter.

Katie L. Grimes, 25, of Independence, and Karen Wynn, 51, of Blue Springs, each face felony charges in connection with incidents that allegedly occurred Friday and Saturday in an Independence apartment.

Authorities said the girl, who turns 3 in January, suffered second-degree burns on 12 percent of her body, primarily her face and back.

The child’s mother, Grimes, did not immediately seek medical attention for her, and neither did her grandmother, Wynn, who was aware of the burns, prosecutors allege.

Even after the girl’s eyes were nearly swollen shut, Wynn was afraid to call 911 because of a previous Children’s Division investigation involving the family, court records said.

According to the court records, the child’s grandfather alerted police after Grimes refused to let him and his wife see the child when they picked up their three other grandchildren. Two of the grandchildren told the grandfather that the victim had been burned with hot water.

When the grandparents later returned to the residence, Grimes again refused to let them see the victim.

When an Independence police officer went to the residence to check on the child, no one answered. When officers went a second time, Wynn answered the door. Wynn said the victim had been hospitalized after Grimes “spilled boiling water” on her.

The child told a social worker, “Mommy is mean.” The child also said Grimes had poured bathtub water from a blue bucket on her.

Grimes allegedly told a hospital social worker a different story, saying the incident occurred while she was cleaning her apartment Saturday.

Grimes said she had filled two small trash cans with hot water and bleach and had placed them in the bathroom. She left the child in the bathroom and went to another part of the apartment. Grimes said she later heard screaming and went to the bathroom, where she found the girl had poured the hot bleach water on herself.

Grimes said she dried the victim with a towel, gave her ice and put an antibiotic cream on the burns.

When police went to the home the second time, they learned that Grimes had taken the child to a hospital.

To reach Glenn E. Rice, call 816-234-4341 or send email to