MAGNOLIA, Ark.(KARK/KSLA) – Two teenage parents appeared in court Wednesday after their infant child was found seriously injured with nearly 100 rodent bites.
Erica Shryock, 19, and Charles Elliott, 18, were arrested Sunday when the baby was taken to the hospital and was discovered to have about 75-100 bites scattered on its body.
The baby needed to have facial reconstruction surgery due to a one-inch-wide wound down to its skull from the rodent bites. One Arkansas Children’s Hospital physician’s opinion was that the baby was probably in distress for at least hours, and the parents were either incapacitated or absent to not have responded to the baby’s suffering. Police found evidence of a rodent problem as well as blood at the home where Shryock, Elliott, the baby, and another roommate lived.
Family friend, Franki Williams, who rented the home to the couple said, “yes these are young kids and I don’t condone what happen to that baby in any form and fashion I saw it I had to deal with it that morning but that little girl and just lost her brother not 24 hours before that.”
In court Wednesday, Shryock and Elliott each got a $15,000 bond and it was ordered that they cannot have contact with anyone under the age of 12.
The baby was taken into DHS custody.
Prosecuting attorney David Butler said, “we are not saying they intentionally had rodents gnaw on their child’s body but they allowed it to happen. This is one of the worst cases of child abuse in my 30-year career.”
It was also revealed in court that between the two parents, they have a total of four children, all of whom have been taken into DHS custody.