David and Angel Schonabaum, the boy’s parents, were arrested and charged with child neglect after they awoke to find their child drenched in blood last Wednesday, 14News reported.
Delania Thurman, the baby’s aunt, who lived in the same home as the parents, was also arrested on the same charge.
The boy lost a significant amount of blood after rats bit his forehead, cheek, nose, thigh, foot, arm, fingers and toes, the arrest affidavits said.
Additionally, police said that his right arm had been gnawed by rodents from his elbow down to his hand and parts of his fingers were bitten off so that his bones were exposed.
The doctors in Indianapolis — the place where the infant was flown to a hospital — gave the child a blood transfusion after his temperature had dropped to 93.5 degrees.
Police added that the family’s home on South Linwood Avenue — where the boy’s 3- and 6-year-old siblings and 2- and 5-year-old cousins also lived — was full of clutter, trash and rat feces.
“It’s really hard to see that and sometimes it’s really hard to maintain composure and be professional,” Evansville police Sgt. Anna Gray said, adding that the stomach-turning scene was one of the worst child neglect cases she has seen in her career spanning decades.
The family began having a rodent issue in March and Terminix exterminators were treating the house, according to the baby’s father.
However, that wasn’t the first time when the rodents tried to eat the children in the house.
The affidavit stated that on Sept. 1, 2023, two cousins of the baby who lived in the house told a teacher at their school that mice bit their toes while they were sleeping.
An employee with the Indiana Department of Child Services visited the home four days later and Thurman claimed that the marks on her child’s toes were likely just scratches from the bed frame.
In addition to rodents trying to eat children, adults who lived in the house weren’t any better. Since April, a case manager has been visiting the home twice a week due to past reports, among which was a claim last year that a child was hurt due to a lack of supervision and a claim in June that David Schonabaum had physically abused one of the children.