A pair of Arkansas parents have been arrested after their newborn baby suffered over 100 rat bites.
According to PEOPLE, the 15-day-old baby had to undergo facial reconstruction surgery on Sunday. The surgery triggered child endangerment charges against the baby's parents. Police said that the parents were aware of the rats in their home but did nothing to fix the problem.
Charles Elliot, 18, and Erica Shryock, 19, have both been charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor and are being held on unspecified bail amounts.
Medical personnel counted at least 100 bites on the 5-pound baby’s arms, hands, and face according to the PEOPLE report. Detectives said that the baby’s skull was visible through one of the wounds on the newborn’s forehead. Police are withholding the child’s gender and name.
Shryock told police the child’s crying woke her up at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, and she found her baby covered in blood. Elliot allegedly said he noticed bloody rat footprints in the baby’s crib.
A police statement alleges Elliot told officers that he and Shryock delayed seeking medical care for their child, fearing they would lose their baby.
A doctor at Arkansas Children’s Hospital said the baby suffered severe skin deconstruction “from rat feeding,” and that it would have taken hours for the injuries to occur, according to television station KSLA. That doctor stated that the parents were either incapacitated or not around when rodents bit the baby.
[Columbia County Sheriff’s Office]