While sleeping in his crib last week, a 6-month-old Indiana boy was nearly eaten alive by rats who bit him more than 50 times.
David and Angel Schonabaum, the boy’s parents, were detained and charged with child neglect after discovering their infant son covered in blood last Wednesday, according to 14News.
Delania Thurman, the child’s aunt, who resided in the same Evansville home, was also detained on the same charge.
According to the arrest affidavits that the local station was able to obtain, the child lost a significant amount of blood and was covered in bites on his forehead, cheek, nose, thigh, foot, arm, fingers, and toes.
According to police, his right arm had been gnawed by rodents from the elbow all the way to the hand, and some of his fingers had been bit off, leaving his bones exposed.
The child had a temperature of 93.5 degrees when he was flown to an Indianapolis hospital, where he received a blood transfusion, according to the station.
According to police, the family’s South Linwood Avenue home, where the boy’s 3- and 6-year-old siblings and 2- and 5-year-old cousins also resided, was littered with trash and rat feces.
Police in Evansville The nauseating scene, according to Sgt. Anna Gray, was one of the worst instances of child neglect she has ever witnessed in the course of her long career.
She told 14News, “It’s really hard to see that and sometimes it’s really hard to keep your cool and be professional.”
Investigators learned from the baby’s father that Terminix exterminators had been treating the home for rodent problems since March.
However, the baby’s mauling by the rats was not the first time the rodents in the house have eaten young children.
According to the affidavit, two children who lived there informed a teacher at their school on September 1 that mice had bitten their toes while they were sleeping.
Thurman claimed the marks on her child’s toes were probably just scratches from the bed frame when an agent from the Indiana Department of Child Services came to the house four days later, according to the news station.
Just one day after the baby was bitten by rats, a DCS representative was scheduled to visit the home to go over a safety plan with the family.
Due to prior allegations involving the kids, including a claim that a child was injured last year due to a lack of supervision and a claim that David Schonabaum physically abused one of the kids in June, a case manager had been going to the home twice a week since April.
Regarding the claims of neglect, DCS made no comments.