City Threatens to Condemn Home Where Child Suffered Severe Rat Bites

MAGNOLIA, Ark.- - (via KARK) -- The City of Magnolia has threatened to condemn a local home after an infant living there was hospitalized with around 100 rodent bites.

City of Magnolia Building Inspector David Nelson wrote a memo Wednesday to the owner of the home on 214 S. Cordelia, Jim Brewer.

Nelson told Brewer the home was found to be in violation of city code due to holes in the walls, unleveled floors and plumbing issues. He stated that the house was "generally unsafe." Nelson gave Brewer 20 days from May 24 to remedy the situation, which means that if the house is not found to be back within code standards by June 26, it will be declared a nuisance and condemned. The parents of the 15-day-old girl were arrested earlier this month on charges of permitting abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. The baby was taken into state custody.

Erica Shryock, 19, of Magnolia and the child's father, Charles Elliott, 18, were ordered to have no contact with children in a case the local prosecutor calls "one of the worst cases of child abuse in my 30 year career."

The Magnolia Police Department began looking into the child's injuries after officers were called to the Magnolia Regional Medical Center on Sunday, May 14.

An ER nurse told officers the 5-pound baby had suffered at least 100 bites, some of which were severe.

Police said the baby's arms, fingers, hands and face were covered in rodent bites. They described a one-inch wide wound on the baby's forehead in which her skull was visible. The baby had facial reconstruction surgery for the wound the next day.

A doctor told police the injury would have taken hours to occur and that 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. 

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