Indiana woman faces felony charges for allegedly burning a friend's baby with a treadmill and a cigarette lighter

Douglas Walker, Muncie Star Press
·1 min read
Amber Vannatter
Amber Vannatter

MUNCIE, Ind. — An Indiana woman is facing multiple felony charges after she allegedly admitted to harming an infant who had been left in her care, police said.

Amber Nicole Vannatter, 20, is accused of inflicting friction burns on the baby girl's torso and face by holding her against a running treadmill and burning the child with a cigarette lighter.

Vannatter told authorities she had abused the child "because she was depressed and the baby was crying," Muncie police Detective Kris Swanson said.

Vannatter, of Fort Wayne, reportedly had been visiting with the child's mother, who left her daughter in Vannatter's care when she went to work about 3 p.m. Friday.

About 9:30 p.m., Vannatter drove the injured baby, about a year old to her mother's workplace and gave the child to her mother, according to police.

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The baby was later taken to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, where she reportedly received treatment in the emergency department.

Vannatter was arrested and booked into the Delaware County Jail about 4 a.m. Saturday. She was charged with neglect of a dependent, battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14, and battery on a person less than 14.

She was being held under a $60,000 bond.

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Douglas Walker is a news reporter at The Star Press in Muncie, Ind. Contact him at 765-213-5851 or at

This article originally appeared on Muncie Star Press: Indiana woman accused of burning friend's baby with treadmill, lighter