18-year-old Charles Elliot and 19-year-old Erica Shyrock of Magnolia, Arkansas were booked into jail around 2:30pm on May 14 for endangering welfare of a minor in the 1st degree. According to reports from law enforcement and ER staff they brought their child to the Magnolia Regional Medical Center around 11:00 AM. The ER staff would treat a 15 day old infant with over 100 rat bites on the face and body. The child’s fingers and face showed evidence of destruction by rodents.
The child was bitten so badly that it required surgery to repair a 1-inch wound in the forehead. The nurse who reported the incident to law enforcement stated that the wound was so severe that the child’s skull was visible. According to Elliot in later interrogations the infant’s crib was “covered in bloody rat prints.
Shyrock stated in interrogation that she had put the child to bed at 5:30 AM and woke to hear the infant screaming at around 7:30 am. The couple decided against taking the child to get help for fear of losing custody. It was not until Elliot’s mother came to the house and forced them to take the child in several hours later that it finally received care for the wounds.
Upon searching the home, law enforcement found a bloody scene in the baby’s crib as well as rodent droppings on a bedside table. Elliot stated in interrogation that the couple was aware of the rodent problem but had not done anything about it.
Following facial reconstruction surgery on the following Monday doctors found that there was severe deconstruction of the child’s face with 75 to 100 rat bites present that would have taken hours to occur. KARK
Updates on This Case
The following Wednesday, the couple received charges of Endangering a Minor in the first degree as well as Permitting Abuse of a Minor. A $15,000 bond was set for each of them. Neither are allowed to have contact with a minor under 12. The infant, as well as two other children from previous marriages are in DHS custody.
Prosecuting attorney David Butler stated that it was “one of the worst cases of child abuse [he] had seen in 30 years”
City inspectors are working to determine if the house should be condemned.
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