Arkansas doctors were shocked to see a 15-day-old infant come into the hospital with a slew of injuries all over her body, the worst of which was a 1-inch hole in her head where her skull was exposed. Unfortunately, the situation would soon go from bad to so much worse when officials found out what had actually happened – and even they were horrified to learn the mother’s sick secret.
Charles Elliot (left), a stock image of an injured infant (center), Erica Shryock (right)
The sickening incident was first brought to the attention of the public when Charles Elliot, 18, and Erica Shryock, 19, brought their daughter to a local hospital in Magnolia, Arkansas. Doctors at the Magnolia Regional Medical Center were quick to realize that there was something that didn’t quite add up between their newborn infant’s injuries and their account of what happened.
According to Arkansas Matters, medical professionals found the baby covered in what appeared to be 75-100 small gashes spanning her arms, fingers, hands, and face. Worst of all, doctors found a 1-inch hole in the baby’s head where they could actually see through to her white skull.
Officials began to question the parents to determine what had happened, and that’s when they were horrified by the mother’s response. Shryock told doctors that she put the baby down to sleep at about 5:30 a.m. but woke up about two hours later at approximately 7:30 a.m. to the sound of her daughter screaming.
The mother went on to claim that she found their daughter bloodied. However, Elliot told officials a different story, saying they woke up at about 5 a.m. and saw blood everywhere, including rat footprints in the crib.
Come to find out, the injuries were in fact from a rat feeding on the baby’s flesh. Although Elliot states that he knew there were rats in the house, he never did anything about them. Furthermore, he admitted that he was hesitant to bring the child to the hospital and delayed going out of fear that they would lose the child.
Unfortunately for them, that turned out to be the case as they were most recently arrested on charges of Endangering the Welfare of a Minor in the First Degree, but that’s not all. Recently, police received a doctor’s note from a physician at Arkansas Children’s Hospital that painted the scenario in a different light.
The doctor noted there was severe skin destruction from rat feeding. The doctor determined it would have taken hours to occur and the baby would have been in distress during those hours. The doctor’s opinion was that the parents were either incapacitated or absent to not have responded to the baby’s distress. [Source: ArklatexHomepage.com]
In short, the note suggests that the two were either on drugs, drunk from heavy alcohol consumption, or weren’t even home during the incident because there would have been no way to ignore the baby’s agonizing cries. What’s worse, the infant would have been screaming for hours since that’s how long it would have taken to cause that much damage.
The main priority of parents should always be the safety and well-being of their children – but that certainly wasn’t the case here. In fact, all Shryock and Elliot really cared about was themselves. Although it’s usually said in a comical manner, it’s cases like these that seriously have me considering my stance on whether two consenting adults should have to take a test before they can have children.
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