6-month-old baby almost dies of rat bites in rodent-infected home in the US
A six-month-old baby almost died after he sustained more than 50 rat bites at his home in the town of Evansville in the American state of Indiana.
The baby’s parents, David Schonabaum and Angel Schonabaum, as well as the baby’s aunt Delaina Thurman, are now facing multiple counts of child neglect, news outlet USA Today reported on Friday.
The parents face other criminal charges too, according to the report.
Police Sergeant Anna Gray told the news outlet that the baby had been discharged from the hospital and placed in foster care.
“I’ve been (an) officer for 20 years, and we’ve seen some serious neglect cases, but nothing where it involved rats feeding off a child,” said Sgt Gray in the report.
On Sept 13, the baby’s father found him in his bassinet covered in blood and called the police, reported Indiana news station WLFI News 18 on Thursday.
The child was close to dying, added the report, citing the Evansville Police Department.
The baby had more than 50 bites on his face, nose, thigh, foot, toes, arms and fingers, according to news reports.
His right arm had bites from the elbow to his hand, reported American news outlet 14 News on Friday.
“All four of (the victim’s) fingers and thumb on his right hand were missing the flesh from the top of them, exposing fingertip bones,” Detective Jonathan Helm wrote in an arrest affidavit as reported by American news outlet Evansville Courier & Press.
“The damage to (the victim’s) index and pinky fingers were the most severe, as they were missing the flesh halfway down each finger,” the report said
Police said that they found what appeared to be rodent footprints in blood in the bassinet, reported WLFI News 18.
The room had rubbish, clutter and discarded food that appeared to have been partially eaten by rodents, said the report, adding that there were rodent faeces on the floor.
The baby was taken to a local hospital, but was later flown to Indianapolis for further treatment, according to news reports.
He was given a blood transfusion due to the amount of lost blood, reported WLFI News 18.
Citing the police, the news outlet said that David and Angel Schonabaum, the baby’s parents, lived with Angel’s sister, Delaina, along with their three kids and Delaina’s own two children.
The baby’s father told police officers that their house had a rat infestation problem since March, and Terminix, a pest control company, was treating the house to get rid of the rodents, reported 14 News.
He faces three counts of neglect of a dependent, reported Evansville Courier & Press.
The baby’s mother is charged with five counts of neglect of a dependent and one count of reckless supervision of a child, added the report.
The couple is held at jail on a US$10,000 (S$13,700) bond, reported the news outlet. Thurman is charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent and is being held on a US$2,500 bond, added the report.