Infant in Indiana Attacked by Rats, Parents Arrested for Neglect


In a horrifying incident, a 6-month-old boy from Indiana was subjected to a vicious rat attack, enduring more than 50 bites while he slept in his crib last week.

The parents, David and Angel Schonabaum, were taken into custody and charged with child neglect after discovering their infant son covered in blood last Wednesday.

Delania Thurman, the child’s aunt and a resident of the same Evansville home, also faced arrest on the same charge.

The infant, bearing bites on various parts of his body including his forehead, cheek, nose, thigh, foot, arm, fingers, and toes, suffered a substantial loss of blood, according to details from the arrest affidavits obtained by the local station.

His right arm bore evidence of rodent bites from his elbow down to his hand, with portions of his fingers bitten off, exposing the bones, as stated by the police.

The child was urgently transported via air to an Indianapolis hospital, where doctors administered a blood transfusion as his temperature had plummeted to 93.5 degrees, as per the station's report.

The family's residence on South Linwood Avenue, also inhabited by the boy's 3- and 6-year-old siblings and 2- and 5-year-old cousins, was found in a deplorable state - cluttered, strewn with trash, and infested with rat feces, the police disclosed.

Evansville Police Sgt. Anna Gray expressed that the distressing scene was one of the most severe cases of child neglect she had encountered over her multi-decade career.

"It’s really hard to see that and sometimes it’s really hard to maintain composure and be professional," she conveyed.

The father of the infant informed investigators that they had been grappling with a rodent issue since March and that Terminix exterminators had been enlisted to address the problem.

However, this wasn't the first time the rodents had attacked children in the household. On September 1, two children in the house informed a teacher at their school that mice had bitten their toes while they slept, according to the affidavit.

Four days later, an employee from the Indiana Department of Child Services visited the home, where Thurman contended that the marks on her child's toes were probably just scratches from the bed frame, reported the news station.

DCS discussed a safety plan with the family, and a DCS representative was slated to revisit the home just one day after the baby suffered the rat attack.

A case manager had been conducting bi-weekly visits to the residence since April due to prior reports involving the children, including an incident last year implicating a lack of supervision leading to a child's injury, and a report in June alleging physical abuse by David Schonabaum towards one of the children.

DCS refrained from providing a comment on the allegations of neglect.