Parents arrested after rats bit their baby 75-100 times, police say

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Charles Elliott, 18, (right) and Erica Michelle Shryock, 19, (left) are each facing first-degree charges of endangering the welfare of a minor. (Source: Columbia County Sheriff's Office) Charles Elliott, 18, (right) and Erica Michelle Shryock, 19, (left) are each facing first-degree charges of endangering the welfare of a minor. (Source: Columbia County Sheriff's Office)

MAGNOLIA, Ark. (KSLA/CNN) -- An Arkansas couple was arrested after police found their 15-day-old baby covered in blood with up to 100 rat bites all over her body.

One bite was so severe that the baby’s skull was visible through a one-inch wound across her forehead.

The 5-pound infant had to undergo reconstructive surgery to treat her injuries, according to doctors at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

Police said her parents, 18-year-old Charles Elliott and 19-year-old Erica Michelle Shryock were nearby when the incident happened over the course of several hours on Sunday.

When questioned by police, the parents said the baby had been sleeping in a bassinet in the same room with them. The couple said they fell asleep and woke up to the child screaming.

Investigators searched the living room of the home and found the bassinet with bloody rodent footprints all over it.

Police said both parents knew there were rats in the home, but did nothing to get rid of them. Magnolia city inspectors are now working to determine whether the home will be condemned.

Both Elliott and Shyrock are each facing first-degree charges of endangering the welfare of a minor. A judge also ordered them to not have any contact with children under the age of 12.

The couple’s attorney, David Butler, said they also have three other children who are now under the supervision of the Department of Human Services.

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