Baby Mauled by Rats - Father's Foster Mom Speaks Out

 MAGNOLIA, Ark. -- "Normalacy to them was a rodent-infested home," Charles Elliot's foster mother said.

This foster mother, who did not want to be identified, said 18-year-old Charles Elliot lived with her briefly when he was 17 and in the Department of Human Services' custody.

"He was not confident in the system and he wanted to get out of care as quick as possible," his foster mother said.

The foster mother said Charles was a polite and respectful teenager - apprehensive at times because he was in a stranger's home. She says Charles was put into foster care years ago but custody was given back to his biological mother.

"He lived in an abandoned home, he left his mom's care or his mom left him, I'm not certain which way that went, but he lived on his own in an abandoned home with no electricity, running water," his foster mother said.

Already dropped out of school, she said Charles was put back into the state's custody when he was 17.

Charles had the option of staying in DHS custody until he was 24, but decided to leave when he was 18.

"I'm not certain someone with his mental diagnosis should've been allowed to make a decision that was his best interest by himself."

This Arkansas foster mother saying she's not sure who's to blame but somehow, someway, the system failed the father of two.

"I don't know where the system broke down but the system broke. Whether with his family, his biological family, with the public school system or with DHS or society in general - something broke."

Charles is in the Columbia County Jail on a $15,000 bond.

There's a group working to get him out of jail sometime this weekend.

KARK did reach out to DHS for comment. They said by law they're not allowed to confirm or deny any involvement with families.

(Mitch McCoy for KARK)

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