The Arkansas parents of a 2-week-old baby girl found with dozens of rat bites learned their fate this week.
Erica Shryock and Charles Elliott were sentenced to five years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to permitting the abuse of a minor. Eligible for parole in 304 days, their attorney told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that his clients will likely be released in a month. This takes into account that the couple is being credited for the 293 days they already spent behind bars.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, police got involved in May, after the couple discovered their infant daughter covered in blood and rat bites. Medical staff located bites on the girl’s arms, fingers, hands, and face. A nurse noted that the 2-week-old was only five pounds when she was admitted to the hospital.
The Democrat-Gazette reported that a 1-inch wound on her forehead was so severe that it left part of her skull visible and required extensive reconstructive surgery to close.
According to KARK, Shyrock and Elliott, then 17 and 18, admitted to being aware that they had rats and that they did nothing to handle the problem. Elliott recalled waking up to his daughter crying and finding blood everywhere–including bloody rat footprints in the crib.
Elliott went on to tell police that he and Shyrock waied for his mother to get to their house before taking her to the hospital. He claimed he delayed getting his daughter medical attention because he didn’t want her taken away.
A forensic evaluation obtained by the local newspaper stated that the couple was fit to stand trial despite their mental health issues and troubled childhoods which reportedly included rape and physical abuse.
Officials said the couple’s daughter has since been adopted.
[Featured Image: Erica Shryock and Charles Elliott/Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (2)]