Baby Found with More Than 50 Rat Bites Covering His Body in Shocking Abuse Case

Three people in Evansville, Indiana, have been charged with child neglect after an infant under their care almost died after experiencing more than 50 rat bites.

According to Indiana news station WLFI News 18, David Schonabaum called the Evansville Police Department (EPD) to his home on Sept. 13 after he discovered his 6-month-old son covered in blood in his bassinet.

The outlet reported that police found what looked like rodent footprints in the blood in the bassinet. They also saw clutter, trash and discarded food all over the room that appeared to have been partially eaten by rodents, as well as rodent feces.

Schonabuam told EPD officers that he had been using Terminix to treat a rat and mice infestation in his home since March, according to Indiana news station WNDU.

Per 14 News, EPD said the infant had more than 50 bites on his forehead, cheek, nose, thigh, foot and toes. The child also had bites all along his right elbow down to his hand with his finger bones exposed.

Arrest affidavits obtained by WLFI News 18 reportedly reveal that the baby’s temperature at the time was 93.5 degrees — 97.5 to 99.3 degrees is the normal range for an infant — and that he later required a blood transfusion because of how much blood he lost.

The baby was transported to a nearby hospital before he was flown to another hospital in Indianapolis. EPD Sgt. Anna Gray said Friday that the child has since been released from the hospital, per 14 News.

According to 14 News, David and his wife, Angel Schonabaum, were living at the home with their 6-month-old son, as well as a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old. Angel’s sister, Delaina Thurman, and her two kids, a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old, were also residents.

Indiana news station WNDU reported that the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) visited the Schonabaum residence on Sept. 5, following two of the children telling their teachers on Sept. 1 that mice bit their toes while they were sleeping.

Thurman told the DCS worker that the marks on her child’s toes were most likely scratches from the bed frame, the outlet reported. The case manager then proceeded to go over a safety plan and scheduled another visit on Sept. 14.

After the 6-month-old was taken to the hospital, police booked David and Angel Schonabaum and Thurman at the Vanderburgh County Jail on Thursday on child neglect charges with the Schonabaums’s bonds set at $10,000 and Thurman’s set at $2,500, per WLFI News 18.

“The only reason that we even knew about it was because the dad woke up and the baby was covered in blood,” Sgt. Gray told 14 News. “That was our first involvement — we should’ve been involved. Someone should’ve picked up the phone and called us prior to that.”

According to WNDU, DCS previously looked into the home in 2022 after a claim was made that one of the kids was injured due to a lack of supervision. This resulted in a case manager visiting twice a week since April, with the last time being Sept. 9. A physical abuse claim was made against David Schonabaum in June 2023, the outlet reported.

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