A 15-day-old baby suffered horrific face and head injuries after being exposed to rats who bit her 75-100 times while her parents claim they slept nearby.
Emergency room personnel at Arkansas Children’s Hospital told KSLA that the injuries were so severe that the baby’s skull was visible through a wound in her forehead, and she had undergone reconstructive surgery on parts of her face.
The baby’s parents, Charles Elliot, 18, and Erica Shyrock, 19, were arrested and charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.
Authorities are deeply skeptical at the parents story - where they say they were sleeping alongside the baby who woke them with her cries at 7:30am when they discovered her blood-soaked bassinet.
KSLA report that the child’s doctor told investigators that this attack would have taken hours, and there is no way a parent would be able to sleep through the cries of the distressed baby.
He suggested that ‘the couple would have to have been absent or incapacitated to not respond to the child's screams.’
Authorities were also horrified to learn that she wasn’t taken to the emergency room until after 11am after her injuries were discovered.
Elliot’s mother, Regina Barton, said her son was scared to take the baby to the hospital in case she was taken from them. Ms Barton said she told her son he had to take the baby to the hospital, regardless.
Both parents admitted that their property had a rat problem but nothing had been done to address it.
The couple have had all three of their children taken away and have been posted $15,000 bail each along with the condition that they're forbidden contact with anyone under the age of 12 reports Arkansas Matters.