updated 8/2/2006 2:25:59 PM ET 2006-08-02T18:25:59

A woman fled with her two children after severely burning her husband with hot cooking oil as he slept, authorities said.

Authorities believe Edna May Sanders turned on the stove Friday and heated about two quarts of oil, waited until the grease reached a simmer and then poured the oil over her husband, covering his head, face, chest and arms.

Hancock County sheriff’s deputies said Sanders apparently left the home a short time later with the couple’s two children. She faces felony charges of aggravated assault and domestic violence, officials said.

Sanders’ husband, whose name was not released, was airlifted to the burn center at the University of South Alabama in Mobile for treatment of third-degree burns, officials said.

“I’ve been in law enforcement 14 years and that was the worst thing I’ve ever seen,” sheriff’s investigator Ricky Fayard said. “His skin was dripping off of him.”

Authorities said they were unsure what led to the assault.

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