DURAND (WJRT) - (07/28/17) - "She's gained weight, she's developing fairly normal, becoming more verbal," said Shiawassee County Prosecutor Deana Finnegan. "So yeah, she's doing very well."
But just 6 months ago, 2 months before her 2nd birthday, Prosecutor Finnegan says it wasn't certain Natalie Springs was going to live.
"One of the doctor's said another 24 hours, the child would've died," she explained.
Natalie spent weeks at Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor fighting for her life.
"Baby had healing burns, severe burns to her buttocks, there were - a lacerated liver, perforated bowel, broken leg, broken arm and a lot of bruising," the Prosecutor said.
Her Mother, Abigail Springs, and her Mother's boyfriend, Derrick Mason III, were charged with first degree child abuse in March.
Wednesday, Mason admitted he heated up water in the microwave, poured it into the bathtub and put Natalie in it.
"What could a 22-month-old infant do that would cause such rage in a person that she would be so severely abused?" Finnegan said.
"I just, I don't understand it," Alice Foster said.
Her daughter is the Springs's neighbor and used to babysit Natalie.
"My daughter noticed she started having bruises on her and they were making up excuses that she had fallen, which is understandable because children do," she explained.
But now Foster's thinking they should've asked more.
"And then are you overstepping your boundaries? Should you? But then again I think you should because it happens so many times and people just ignore it because they don't want to get involved in anything," she said. "It ain't my business, so why care? But you should care because it's a helpless child that can't tell anybody anything."
Because Natalie is too young to talk, the Prosecutor says they may never know who or what caused the broken bones and internal damage.
Mason is facing at least 15 years in prison, a trial date has not been set for Springs.
(07/27/17) - There has been a guilty plea in the abuse of baby Natalie.
The 2-year-old from Durand was hospitalized this spring after being placed into a bathtub with scalding water.
Police say she had broken bones, severe burns and internal injuries.
Both Natalie's mother, Abigail Rae Springs, and her mother's boyfriend, Derrick Mason the Third, were charged with the abuse.
Mason has now plead guilty and will likely be sentenced to prison time.