Two teen parents from Arkansas, Erica Shyrock, 19, and her 18-year-old boyfriend, Charles Elliott, were arrested by police after a raid on their home uncovered something incredibly shocking, even for police.
They discovered the couple’s newborn baby, covered in blood, and suffering from more than 100 rat bites all over her body. There was also a wound on the baby’s head through which you could see a piece of her skull.
The baby was taken to doctors, who then called the police with the case. In addition, the baby was 15 days old, and weighed just 5 lbs.
The mother says she happened to be awakened by screaming coming from the baby’s room. When she got there, she found the child already bitten up by the rats.
The Daily Mail reports:
An emergency room nurse told the responding officers that the girl was 15 days old and weighed just 5lbs.
An examination has revealed that the infant had 75 to 100 rat bites all over her body, including on her arms, fingers, hands and face.
The worst injury was an inch-wide gash on the baby’s forehead that was so deep it exposed a portion of her skull, the affidavit stated, according to a report by ArkansasMatters.com.
When interviewed by police, Shyrock, who has been dating Elliott since 2015, recounted how she put her daughter to sleep at around 5.30am in her bassinet placed next to the parents’ bed and was awakened by her screams two hours later.
When the 19-year-old mom looked in the crib, she said she found her baby girl covered in blood. Elliott, who was interviewed separately, also told police he saw bloody rat footprints in the crib.
Both parents said they were aware there their home was infested with rats but failed to address the problem.
In the course of the investigation, police interviewed Elliott’s’ mother, Regina Barton, who revealed to them that her son told her the baby had been bitten by a mouse and that he was afraid to lose custody of her.
Barton said she urged her son to take the injured newborn to the hospital anyway.
Elliott cleaned up some of the blood, and he and Shyrock said they waited an additional hour and a half for Barton to arrive at their home before seeking medical help for their baby at 9am.
Under questioning, Elliott reiterated to police he was afraid.
The couple’s roommate, Maggie Williams, later gave police permission to search the residence, where they were able to recover the crib with the bloody rodent paw prints, a baby’s blood-soaked hat, a baby blanket with blood stains on it and rodent droppings on a cabinet.
On Monday, Elliott and Shyrock’s daughter underwent a reconstructive surgery to close the gaping wound on her forehead.
A doctor at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, where the victim has been transferred for treatment, sent police a note on Tuesday saying the child suffered severe skin destruction from rat feeding.
The physician determined the damage would have taken ‘hours to occur and the baby would have been in distress during that time.’ The doctor suggested that the parents were ‘either incapacitated or absent to not have responded to the baby’s distress.’
Shyrock and Elliott are both being held at Columbia County Justice and Detention Facility without a bond.
According to Shyrock’s Facebook page, the teen mom also has an older daughter whom she had in November 2015, aged 16 or 17. It is unclear where that child is.