A teenage couple have been jailed for five years after their 15-day-old baby girl was discovered with up to 100 rat bites, leaving her skull exposed.
Erica Shryock, 19, and Charles Elliott, 18, were charged with a range of offences when their newborn baby needed facial reconstruction surgery, after she was left with a hole in her forehead.
The baby, who weighed just 5lbs at the time, had bites throughout her entire body after being bitten 75-100 times at the family home in Magnolia, Arkansas.
The pair pleaded guilty to one felony count of permitting the abuse of a minor in Columbia County Court in Magnolia in a plea deal. A second charge of endangering the welfare of a minor was dropped.
Police in Arkansas were called on May 14, 2017 after the bites were discovered on her arms, fingers, hands and face including an inch-long cut on her forehead.
The baby reportedly needed to have facial reconstruction surgery because the rodent bites left a one-inch-wide open wound on her forehead which exposed the skull.
The pair told police they awoke to find the child covered in blood, Elliott says at 5am while Shryock says 7.30am, and they waited until Elliott's mother arrived at their home to take her to hospital.
KARK-TV reported that a doctor said the baby was most likely distressed for hours, and that the parents would not have checked on her because they would have noticed her suffering.
Police stated that in a search of their home they found bloody rat footprints, a baby's hat soaked in blood and a baby blanket with blood on it.
Elliott also said that he spotted bloody rat footprints in the home and rodent droppings near a nightstand.
The couple, who had been dating since 2015, said they were aware of the rat problem and did nothing about it.
Shryock reportedly admitted to authorities that she had used both synthetic marijuana, marijuana, and methamphetamine in the week before her arrest, while Elliott said he smoked marijuana.
The couple were reportedly found to be fit to stand trial, despite problematic childhoods which have lead to mental issues.
The injured child has now been adopted.