Apr 30, 2006

Grandmother Accused of Burning 9-Month-Old Grandson

Left: Infant Robert Grodi III, before the burn incident

(Newport, MI) A grandmother in this small Monroe County community faces first degree child abuse charges after an incident in which her 9-month old grandson suffered severe burns to the legs, knees and feet.

Cheryl Ann Grahl, 50, maintains her innocence, and told policethat the child climbed into a hot tub and turned on the water himself.

"I will not plead guilty to something I haven't done," Grahl told WTVG-13 in an interview.

The infant is in St. Vincent Mercy Hospital in fair condition with first-, second-, and third-degree burns on his legs, feet and back.

The Monroe County Sheriff's office, however, said that the burns are consistent with immersion, and the infant's injuries do not match up with Grahl's claims.

The baby's parents also believe that an earlier injury that the infant suffered may also be child abuse. About one month ago the baby received a burn on his arm that the grandmother claimed occurred when she accidentally dropped a curling iron on him.

The baby's father, Robert Grodi Jr., was shocked by the experience of seeing his child in the intensive care unit.

"They pulled off his bandage and they peeled off his whole leg in one piece," he told WUPW-36. "I couldn't quit crying. This has destroyed our lives."

Grodi cannot understand how a relative could harm the toddler.

"Three days ago he was a normal child. I went to work and by lunch he was in a burn unit," Grodi said. "I'm doing everything I can to stay strong for him. To tell you the truth all I want to know is why. Why my baby."


Anonymous said...

No f-ing way a 9 month old can climb into a hot tub and turn on the water. String this psycho granny up.

Anonymous said...

Better - stick the sick granny in a hot tub and burh HER.

-Sepp said...

Granny should be tossed into an incinerator. Ain't no way a 9 month old kid could burn himself to the point where his toes fuse together. WHERE the hell was Granny at the time if she "wasn't there"??? HM, you shouls refrain from posting this kind of stuff since it incites me to go kick some ungrandmotherly ass.

Lisa Renee said...

My question, if you think the grandmother abused the child in the past why in the blue hell would you let grandma watch the child again? Same with the recent murder of a young child by the girlfriend. If she was a known druggie which it appears it was known why would you as a mother let her watch your child when she was with her father?

That doesn't mean that those who kill or abuse a child shouldn't be punished but sheesh some of these parents need to wake up. It's their job to protect their children.

historymike said...

Sepp and Anonymous-

This stuff makes my blood boil, too (sorry for the inadvertant pun). It's a form of exorcism for me to write about this garbage.

Lisa -

I think that the fact that the accused abuser was the child's grandmother may have come into play. We would probably LEAST suspect a kindly grandma to hurt a child.

But I agree that far too many people leave their children with less-than-ideal caretakers:

"Heck, he's been off heroin for two months, and out of jail for 6! I though he was a good boyfriend and a decent guy; I never knew he would shake my 6-month-old baby!"

Lisa Renee said...

The baby's parents also believe that an earlier injury that the infant suffered may also be child abuse. About one omonth ago the baby received a burn on his arm that the grandmother claimed occurred when she accidentally dropped a curling iron on him.

That's what I was basing it on. I had relatives that I loved dearly but would never ever leave one of my children with, especially when they were babies.

Hooda Thunkit said...

I didn't sit down and listen to the Grahl interview but, from a distance, Grahl's speech patterns and manner didn't sound normal to me.

Maybe she wasn't the "sharpest knife in the drawer," I couldn't tell. But, I suspect that she was a very poor choice to be a care giver.

Perhaps the parents aren't much better either...

historymike said...

I just watched the FOX-36 interview with Grahl, and she seemed drugged. She was slurring her words and acting a bit odd.

I agree, Lisa, about decisions parents make. I was not trying to minimize the bad decision, just pointing out that we think grandparents are just about the safest choices.

If you can't trust a grandparent, it's a pretty bizarre world.

And my opinion has definitely been changed by the FOX interview. Grahl looks like she has done a lot of hard living, and she is only 50. She looked 15-20 years older than that, and her behavior was, well, odd.

If I were her defense attorney, there is no way in hell I would let her do TV interviews.

-Sepp said...

Granny did seem a few cards short of a full deck on the news. I think that the Grodis left the boy with granny because it was probably the most cost effective. How many of us wouldn't trust our Grandparents? I only hope I'm as good a parent as my Grandparents. They are a tough act to follow.

historymike said...

Yes, Sepp, I too was blessed with some terrific grandparents. They are 90 and 89 right now; I just hope we get a few more years.

Anonymous said...

who do you people think u are i am a close friend to the family this happend to first off the early incident the parents knew it was a accident the media twisted there words second of all the grandmother is not crazy and last but not least i know this child very well and he is very talented and can climb stairs so why couldnt he climb into a tub that has stairs on it

historymike said...

I know who I am, and I proudly put my name on this blog.

The grandmother's story - captured on video - is that she took her eyes off the child "for just a minute," at which point the child crawled into the room, climbed into the tub, and turned on the hot water.

Not only that, but he had to be in the tub long enough to get burns on his legs and back.

Something does not add up.

Anonymous said...

the child is in good condition and you dont know what you people are talking about i suggest you keep your opinions to yourself i am robbies mother yes my mother did this but i know it was not on purpose and yes she was neglectful and for that i will never forgive her for but she is not on drugs and she is not an alcholic so stop please

historymike said...

If you are indeed Robbie's mom, you have my complete sympathy. You must be in terrible pain right now seeing your baby struggling.

I admit that there can be misperceptions and distortions in the media. If you are serious about getting the truth out to correct inaccuracies, contact me at:


I write for local and national publications, and could help you and your mother. This is a serious offer.

However, if you are an imposter, you are really twisted, anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Just as well for all that have so much to say although the stories may not seem as though they add up but has any done research it takes 4 seconds at 140 degrees to cause a third degree burn and 5-6 seconds at 130 degrees and 10 seconds at 150 degrees so it may add up although yes neglectful it may be and still wrong but people panic at such a horror sight and speak with out thinking a nine month old baby that can pull him self up and crawl beginning walker and a tub with two steps it is possiable although still sad for all involved grandma mother father and all because every one has to live with it and most of all the baby.

friend said...

Anyone notice the inconsistancies in the last entry from "Anonymous" that claims to be Robbie's mother?