Man faces felony charges after child burned

Dustin Boyd Holdaway

TRAVERSE CITY — A Grawn man accused of putting a toddler in a clothes dryer faces child abuse and torture charges.

Judge Thomas J. Phillips set a $500,000 cash or surety bond today for Dustin Boyd Holdaway, 33. Holdaway faces two felony charges, first-degree child abuse and torture, that carry maximum sentences of life in prison.

Holdaway is suspected of burning the 21-month-old child, who was taken to DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids for treatment. Marks on the boy's skin matched holes inside a clothes dryer found in Holdaway's home, according to court documents.

The child is currently in foster care and has significant scarring, said Grand Traverse County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Noelle Moeggenberg.

"He is doing much better," Moeggenberg said.

The toddler's mother told authorities that Holdaway once "jokingly told her that he put (her son) in the dryer and turned it on," court documents state.

Michigan State Police also requested charges against the mother.

"We haven't made any decision on her case yet," Moeggenberg said.

The boy and his mother spent the night at Holdaway's home in March. Court documents state the woman checked on her son after she awoke to crying. His face was bloody, and his skin peeled away when she attempted to clean him. She saw his body was bruised and burned and immediately took him to Munson Medical Center. He was then taken to Grand Rapids.

His burns worsened while he was in the hospital and covered 25 percent of his body, according to Michigan State Police reports.

Holdaway's estranged wife and children in California have a personal protection order against him, according to the reports. The U.S. Navy has an active investigation into Holdaway's behavior toward his wife, they state.

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