Kayden Culp is getting better. The 10-year-old Texas boy with special needs, who was allegedly set on fire by bullies, is showing some signs of improvement but remains in a medically-induced coma, his family says. Meanwhile, authorities are saying that the crime that severely burned the autistic boy was not premeditated, KEYE-TV (Austin) is reporting.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, on Sunday, the Kerrville boy was playing with three other boys — ages 9, 10, and 11 — when they lured him to a wooden shed. Culp, believing the boys were his friends, followed the boys into the shed. The boys then allegedly set the shed on fire with Kayden inside.
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Kayden suffered first- and second-degree burns over about 20 percent of his body, from his ears to his belly button. As his mother frantically drove him to a hospital, the boy, slipping into a coma, named one of his alleged assailants by name.
“He hurt me. He set me on fire. He needs to go to jail.”
At first, the outlook wasn’t good for Kayden. As KEYE-TV reported earlier this week, on Wednesday, the young man’s organs began failing. He was put into a medically-induced coma and placed on life support.
On Thursday, Kayden’s family reported that the boy’s condition has improved ever so slightly. Some of the swelling on his body has gone down, and his heart and blood pressured have stabilized. However, he remains in a medically-induced coma, and as of this writing, it is not clear how long he will remain on life support. The family also says that he is fighting infections and pneumonia.
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Some other good news for the Culp family has also come in via the internet. A crowdfunding page devoted to raising money for the family’s medical bills has gone viral, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the family. As of this writing, the campaign has raised over $200,000 — 20 times its original goal of $10,000. Donors from far and wide have been chipping in amounts large and small and leaving well-wishes for Kayden and his family.
“Unacceptable anywhere, but extra tragic this was done to and by Texans. I am so sorry you are going through this, multiple families destroyed. I hope you gain some strength from the sympathy and support that we are all sending your way.”
Meanwhile, authorities are sorting out the legal implications of the alleged crime against Kayden. Police believe the three boys set the shed on fire, then one of them went to get a can of gasoline to make it burn faster. The fire then made its way back to the gas can, and one of the boys threw it. It hit Kayden.
The boy whose alleged actions caused Kayden to get burned has been arrested and charged with first-degree arson. His name is not being released because he is a juvenile.
Police chief David Knight says it does not appear that the alleged crime was premeditated.
Whether the actions were premeditated or not, Kayden’s family wants justice. In a statement, Kayden’s aunt, Kelly Mack, says the boys deliberately targeted Kayden.
“The other kids are saying that he was going to be riding his bike like he always is, my nephew Kayden is going to be riding his bike, and they said we’re going to grab him and take him inside and burn him… If it wasn’t premeditated, it still is attempted murder.”
More arrests may follow in the alleged burning of Kayden Culp.
[Feature Image by NineBall Foto/Shutterstock]