Shawnee man charged after 5-year-old boy left in cold bath developed hypothermia

A Shawnee man is facing child abuse allegations after his 5-year-old boy was allegedly left in a cold bathtub and suffered severe hypothermia.

Ramayan Maniktala, 27, was arrested in late January and charged with child abuse under the age of 6, as well as aggravated endangerment of minors. According to documents filed in the Johnson County District Court, the children in the house told investigators they were forced to take cold showers and baths as punishment.

On March 4, 2022, emergency crews responded to a home on the 7400 block of West 56th Terrace in Overland Park for a report of a child suffering from a seizure.

Medical personnel found the boy, referred to in the court records as AM, in cardiac arrest and extremely cold to the touch. A doctor at the scene said his temperature was 78 degrees, according to the documents.

AM was taken to hospital in critical condition.

During interviews with the Kansas Department of Children and Families and investigators, Maniktala said she made her son shower after he got dirty. Maniktala told authorities he started the water at room temperature and went to work within earshot.

The defendant told investigators that at one point AM pulled the cork down. He claimed the water was only four to five inches deep and estimated the child was in the shower or bath from about 8:30 to 11:00, prosecutors say.

Maniktala said she found the child with a seizure in warm water, drained the tub and called 911. The defendant told police he has Raynaud’s, a condition that makes it difficult for him to regulate his temperature.

During interviews with investigators, AM said he is forced to take cold baths or showers when he steals food from the kitchen, and he doesn’t like it. He said the water makes his body feel “cold cold,” according to court documents.

The boy said if he comes out earlier than expected, he must take another one, prosecutors say.

AM’s sister allegedly told investigators that Maniktala forces them to take cold showers and baths as punishment, putting ice in the tub with a large cup. Afterward, AM’s skin appears blue and white. She said AM has scabs on her back, and they get her hair pulled and hit on her head.

A teacher from one of the children’s schools informed the authorities that, prior to the incident, AM had come to school shaking and crying. Prosecutors say one of the children told the school he was forced to take a bath because he had an accident.

The baby would have been cold to the touch that day and shivered for about 30 minutes.

Maniktala was arrested on January 26 and released the following day on $50,000 bail. He is due to appear in court over programming on March 22.

It is unclear whether the Department for Children and Families had been involved with the family prior to the incident.

Police did not immediately respond to The Star’s request for an update on the child’s welfare on Friday.

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