A teenage couple have been charged with crimes linked to child neglect after their 15-day-old baby girl was discovered with up to 100 rat bites leaving her skull exposed.
The newborn baby needed facial reconstruction surgery after she was left with a hole in her forehead when the rodents attacked her entire body at a home in Magnolia, Arkansas.
Her parents Erica Shyrock, 19, and her 18-year-old boyfriend, Charles Elliott, were arrested and subsequently charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.
The baby girl weighed just 5lbs when she was taken to the Magnolia Regional Medical Center on Sunday (14 May) after being bitten 75 to 100 times by rats.
Police in Arkansas were called after the bites were discovered on her arms, fingers, hands and face including an inch-long cut on her forehead.
According to their arrest report police say on searching their home, they found bloody rat footprints, a baby's hat soaked in blood, a baby blanket with blood on it and rodent droppings on the bedside table.
Court documents say a doctor concluded that the parents were "either incapacitated or not present" when the rodents bit the girl over a period of hours where she would have been in some distress.
The doctor noted that there was severe skin destruction from rat feeding on the infant.
ArkansasMatters.com reported the couple admitted they knew there were rats in the house but the pair did nothing about it.
It was reported that Erica said she woke up to the screaming baby on Sunday morning at around 7.30pm after putting her to sleep two hours previously, where she was found covered in blood, in her bassinet.
Charles said, according to court documents, that he saw rat footprints in the crib and the pair waited for his mother to arrive before they took the child to hospital at 9am.
The couple, who had been dating since 2015, have four children between them, all of whom have been taken into DHS custody, it was reported. The injured child has now been taken into DHS custody.
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