Newborn had nearly 100 severe rat bites, Arkansas teen parents arrested

Charles Elliot and Erica Shryock

Columbia County Sheriff's Office

Charles Elliot and Erica Shryock

MAGNOLIA, Ark. - Two teenage parents were arrested Sunday after their 15-day-old baby girl was taken to a hospital with "excessive rodent bites to its body," police said.

Erica Shryock, 19, and Charles Elliot, 18, both of Magnolia have been charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor, according to a police news release.

Shryock reportedly told detectives she heard the baby crying early Sunday morning and found the child covered in blood.

According to police reports, the baby’s skull was visible through a wound on the forehead.

Elliot told investigators when he checked on the newborn he saw bloody rodent footprints in the baby’s crib.

Police were called after the baby was brought to a local hospital, the release said. Authorities said the home in which the child was living was infested with rodents.

The statement says medical personnel counted 75-100 bites on the baby’s hands, arms and face, and the child had to undergo facial reconstruction surgery.

Police say Shryock and Elliot both acknowledged knowing about the rodent infestation in their home but did nothing to correct it. According to the statement, Elliot told officers they delayed seeking medical care for their baby girl because they were afraid she would be taken away from them.

Shryock and Elliot are being held in the Columbia County jail without bail.

Click to read police affidavit