2-year-old hospitalized with burns after alleged incident at babysitter’s home

Published: Nov. 2, 2023 at 2:03 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND (WOIO/Gray News) - An Ohio mother wants answers after her 2-year-old son was allegedly burned in an incident at his babysitter’s home.

Tracy Allen Jones, 2, spent Halloween in the burn unit at Metro Health in Cleveland. He allegedly suffered second-and third-degree burns to his head and chest in an incident at his babysitter’s house, according to WOIO.

“I have not gotten a complete, truthful story of what happened to my son,” said Tonya Gkonos, Tracy’s mother. “Doctors, nurses and us as parents, we can clearly see there was some type of hot liquid spilled from the top of his head down all the way to his groin.”

The toddler attended Azori & Friends Daycare in Huron with his sister. The siblings had been going there for two months when their mother got a disturbing call Oct. 27.

“I got a FaceTime from the babysitter, and my son was unrecognizable, face swollen. You couldn’t really tell it was him,” Gkonos said.

What happened to Tracy remains a mystery. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office is now investigating the alleged incident.

Darrionna Johnson runs the babysitting business, which is not licensed by the state, out of her home. She claims she wasn’t at the home at the time of the alleged incident but was working at her second job around the corner.

Johnson said her boyfriend was caring for Tracy at the time. At first, she told Gkonos a spider bit the 2-year-old, and he had an allergic reaction.

“The story the babysitters are giving us is that he was outside playing in a bush, and he came from the bush this way, which is not true,” Gkonos said.

Johnson said she doesn’t know if Tracy was burned or not at her home and is unsure of what caused his injuries.

According to the sheriff’s office, Johnson’s boyfriend waited an hour to report the incident to police. Johnson claims she told him to calm down and called police when she arrived.

Johnson posted a flyer of her business to social media. WOIO reached out to the state Department of Job and Family Services, which claims it has no record of her business. When asked for clarification, Johnson said it is not daycare but is instead a babysitting business.

Gkonos said she is disappointed and wants the truth.

“I had all the intuitions of a mother they were safe. The way they reacted when they seen her made me feel safe,” Gkonos said. “This could have just been an accident, and accidents happen. But when you are lying and not being truthful and a 2-year-old hasn’t opened his eyes in five days, that’s when I become resentful.”

Tracy’s father is asking the community for emotional support as the family focuses on the toddler’s recovery.

“Everyone just keep [Tracy] in your prayers, just wish him the best. He is a strong little boy,” Jacob Jones said.

Tracy had surgery Tuesday morning. He is expected to go home in a few weeks.

Johnson told WOIO her own child is not allowed in the home due to the investigation.