An Arkansas newborn was severely bitten by rodents at least 100 times while asleep in a bassinet near her parents, an affidavit details.
The 15-day-old child’s parents — 19-year-old Erica Shryock and 18-year-old Charles Elliott, both of Magnolia — were arrested Sunday on charges of first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.
Authorities say the girl had a wound about 1 inch in diameter on her forehead, making her skull visible. Her arms, hands and face were also covered in rodent bites.
Shryock told the Magnolia Police Department that she had put her daughter to sleep Sunday morning in a bassinet and later awoke to the child screaming.
The mother said the child “would have had to [have] been screaming for a while, due to the amount of bites.”
Elliott told detectives that he got a rag to clean the girl up, noting that he could see “bloody rat footprints” in the bassinet.
While conducting a search of the house, detectives found the bloodied bassinet as well as an infant toboggan that was "soaked in blood."
A doctor at Arkansas Children's Hospital noted Tuesday that the child, who was initially taken to Magnolia Regional Medical Center, had "severe skin destruction from rat feeding."
The physician added that the "caregivers were either absent or incapacitated to not have responded."
Police said the girl had facial reconstruction surgery Monday to address the large wound on her forehead.
Read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.