Baby found with nearly 100 rat bites, parents charged


An Arkansas couple is behind bars after their baby, only two weeks old, was taken to the hospital with rat bites all over her body on Sunday.

On May 14, a Magnolia Police officer was dispatched to Magnolia Regional Medical Center for a report of a child with rat bites. Authorities said that the baby girl had been bitten on her arms, hands and face. She also had a large cut on her forehead.

Police identified the teenage couple as Erica Shyrock, aged 19, and Charles Elliott, aged 18.

When police questioned Williams, she told them she woke up around 5:30 to the baby crying.

During interrogation, Shyrock told police she had put her baby to sleep and woke up to her screaming. She said when got up to feed the child, the child was covered in blood.

Shryock and Elliott apparently knew their house had a rat infestation but didn't do anything about the problem. A doctor reportedly told police the damage to the girl's skin was so severe "it would have taken hours to occur and [the patient] would have been in distress during the process". They each face a first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor charge.

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On Monday, the child underwent facial reconstructive surgery to fix the wound to her head.

They discovered rat feces and the baby's bassinet and hat. Elliot stated that they waited before getting the baby medical treatment because they anxious about the child being taken away. She said the noticed the hole in the baby's head and said the blood was dry.

On Monday, the child had surgery to fix her open head wound. Elliott stated that they waited for his mother to take the girl to emergencies four hours later.

The police interviewed Margie Williams, the couple's roommate, who claimed to have woken up at 5:30 the baby's cries.

Both Elliott and Shyrock have been held at the Columbia County Justice and Detention Facility with no bail while the baby is recovering at the medical facility and is expected to survive.

According to Shyrock's Facebook page, the teen mom also has an older daughter whom she had in November 2015, aged 16 or 17.