Young mother injured in acid attack

Jessica Burns suffered injuries to her face and shoulder.

Steve Jefferson/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - A 19-year-old mother is recovering after police say her boyfriend's mother doused her with acid.

Detectives are still gathering facts about the acid attack on Jessica Burns, while the victim and her family is asking why anyone would throw acid on another person.

"This is horrible. Nobody in their right mind would do this to anybody," Burns said.

The victim suffered burns to her face and body during an argument at home over prescription drugs for a knee injury. Burns claims her boyfriend's mother, 40-year-old Angela Patterson, doused her with acid.

"I would not give her the pain medicine and I got acid dumped all over my face," Burns said.

Burns said the acid, which is used to clean jewelry, almost got on her daughter. The acid not only scorched her face, but also burned off part of her eyelashes.

"This is a lot of damage to me and my eyesight," Burns said. "I have lost half of my eyelashes and when I go to sleep, I can't even open my eyes."

Burns also showed Eyewitness News several burns on her shoulder.

"It got in my mouth. I got blisters in my throat. I can't eat, I haven't had an appetite. I am traumatized," she said.

Before paramedics rushed Burns to St. Francis Hospital, they told officers on the scene the acid could very well lead to blindness.

"This is something that could maim someone for life. Think twice before you pick something up like that and think that there is nothing that could happen to me," said IMPD Sgt. Linda Jackson.

"I know I lost pretty much half my vision in both of my eyes," Burns said.

Burns' boyfriend, Joseph Miller, told officers he witnessed the acid attack by his mother.

"I saw my mom grab the bottle," he said. " I turned my back. I saw her arm come up over my shoulder and then all I heard was screaming."

Eventually, officers arrested Patterson for aggravated batter, battery with injury and criminal recklessness.

"It hurts to see her like that and it hurts to see my mom facing some serious time," Miller said.

Miller told police Patterson bragged about never finding the empty acid bottle.

"They did look for it, with the permission of the son who resides there, but they did not locate it," Sgt. Jackson said.

Patterson is at the Marion County Jail on a $30,000 bond. She's scheduled to make her first court appearance later this week.