Parents arrested after newborn found with severe rat bites

MAGNOLIA, AR (KNWA) — An Arkansas mother and father were arrested after their 15-day-old baby was found with severe rat bites.

WARNING: The details in this report are graphic

On May 14, a Magnolia Police officer was dispatched to Magnolia Regional Medical Center for a report of a child with rat bites. The nurse at the hospital told the officer the child weighed about five pounds and had been bitten at least 100 times. The child was said to have bites on their arms, hands, and face. There was also a wound on the child’s forehead in which the skull was visible.

The parents were identified as Charles Elliot and Erica Shryock. Elliot and Shryock were taken to the Magnolia Police Department for questioning. Shryock told police that she woke up that day to the child crying at 5:30 a.m. She said when got up to feed the child, the child was covered in blood. Shryock told police she knew there was a rodent problem but she didn’t do anything about it.

Elliot also told police that he heard the child crying around 5 a.m. and that he saw bloody rat footprints in the crib. Elliot told police they were hesitant to take the child to the hospital because he didn’t want the child taken away. He also told police he knew there was a rat problem.

Police went to the residence where they said they saw blood rat footprints, a bloody baby toboggan and a wooden cabinet with rat droppings. A doctor at Arkansas Children’s Hospital said the child had severe skin destruction from rat feeding and told police it would have taken hours for that to occur and the child would have been in distress during the process.

Both Elliot and Shryock were arrested for first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.

The child was given facial reconstruction surgery to address the large wound on their head.

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