MAGNOLIA, Ark. (WSVN) — The parents of a newborn baby were arrested after the infant was found to have nearly 100 rat bites all over her body.
Police were called to the Magnolia Regional Medical Center’s emergency room after the baby was brought for treatment, KARK reports.
A nurse said the child, who was just 15 days old at the time, suffered severe bites on her arms, fingers, and face. One bite measured an inch wide and revealed the infant’s skull, requiring facial reconstructive surgery.
Police identified the baby’s parents as 19-year-old Erica Shryock and 18-year-old Charles Elliott, charging them of endangering the welfare of a minor.
Investigators said the couple admitted that they knew their home had a rat infestation, but did nothing to address the problem.
Upon searching the house, police found the child’s bassinet covered in bloody rat footprints. They also found a baby’s hat and blanket soaked in blood, and rodent droppings on a nearby bedside table.
A doctor at Arkansas Children’s Hospital said the child suffered severe skin destruction from rat feeding, which would have taken hours to occur. The doctor noted that the child would have been in distress for hours, and believed the parents were incapacitated or absent to not seek treatment sooner.
Shryock and Elliott are being held without bond.
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