Crime

Children Branded by Florida Mom: She "Forgot How Much She Loved Fire"

Everyone's seen the moms who treat their children like really high-maintenance pomeranians and drag them around shopping malls on leashes. That is, however sadly, a thing. What's definitely not a thing is branding your children with a hot stick like cattle. Nope. Not even a little bit.

That's what Port Charlotte authorities arrested 23-year-old Kayla Oxenham for, the Associated Press reported last night. According to the agency, the 5- and 7-year-old kids were promised ice cream if they would endure the abuse. It was, the medical assistant said, meant to mark the children as her own.

The police report also revealed a third reason. The mother also apparently told her spawn that she "forgot how much she liked fire."

Maybe play Diablo II on the computer? Go fire spinning at a drum circle? Take up glass blowing? Many more suggestions available upon request.

Court records show that Oxenham is separated from her husband, Jeremy, a manager at a Punta Gorda Dunkin' Donuts and a crew member at McDonalds who lists among his favorite books A Child Called "It." The two share a daughter together, and its unclear who the father of Oxenham's son is.

Last night on Facebook, Oxenham's estranged husband wrote: "Torturing myself reading and watching videos. Waiting on a text to see my little girl. I need to be there now more than ever. The waiting is making me nauseous."

On Wednesday, Oxenham was released on $15,000 bond. According to Charlotte County court records, she's only been adjudicated guilty of driving without a license in the past. Florida's Department of Children and Families, however, has had a file on her since March.

Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.

Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti



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Allie Conti was a fellow at Miami New Times and a staff writer for New Times Broward-Palm Beach, where her writing won awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists. She's now the senior staff writer at Vice and a contributor to the New York Times, New York Magazine, and the Atlantic.