Baby in Indiana suffers 50 rat bites across his body due to neglect from caretakers

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How many times have you tried using home remedies to get rid of pests? Especially cockroaches and rodents. A 2021 survey by the official census of the USA states that more than 14.8 million houses suffer problems with rodents. Why is it that the problem is so extensive that a child has to suffer injuries for the same?

A 6-month-old baby in Indiana was found by his father smeared and covered in blood with bruises all around. The initial reports from 14 News suggest 50 bites on the forehead, cheek, nose, thigh, foot, and toes.

Photo: Public Forum of Indiana

The half-year-old’s elder brothers and sisters also told 14 News that they suffered bites on their toes while sleeping due to the rodents. Indiana’s local news station WLFI News 18 says, “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.”

As per People, David and his wife, Angel Schonabaum, were residing at the home with their three children: a 6-month-old son, 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.

On investigating, proof of rodents was found all around the house, from footprints to blood. They also found fecal remains to confirm the same, says WLFI News 18 further. But why did such problems arise? In an interview with WLFI News 18, David mentions, “They were allowed to live at home for free by his cousin, as long as he took care of upkeep at the house,” according to EPD.

They say David told them they developed a problem with mice and rats back in March and that he had been setting rat traps and bait boxes provided by Terminex. David said that despite that, the problem persisted, and he would catch as many as four rats a night.

When the chats with the Terminex executive were checked, the service provider mentioned the house being “completely overwhelmed with rats” in the WLFI News 18 report. The report also mentions how David and Angel have a past with negligence, “After the 6-month-old was taken to the hospital, police said they learned there was already a DCS case against Angel and David. They say that case was opened in December 2022, when David and Angel were accused of not supervising one of the children, leading to an injury.”

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David Schonabaum, Angel Schonabaum and Delaina Thurman Photo: People/Vanderburgh County Jail

Arrest affidavits have been issued, and the preliminary assessment of the child explains that he lost a lot of blood and his body temperature was at 93.5 degrees, four to six degrees lower than average infant body temperatures. The baby was immediately taken to a nearby hospital and was then shifted to a hospital in Indianapolis, according to reports from 14 News.

David and Angel Schonabaum, along with Thurman, were charged with neglect of children, and their case was registered at Vanderburgh County Jail. The charges have been set at $ 10,000 and Thurman’s at $ 2,500, according to WLFI News 18 reports. Sgt Gray, the officer who investigated the case, spoke to 14 News, saying, “The only reason that we even knew about it was because the dad woke up and the baby was covered in blood. That was our first involvement — we should’ve been involved. Someone should’ve picked up the phone and called us prior to that.”

EPD has still not issued an official comment to any media outlets. While their three-year-old and six-year-old already had toe bites by rodents, parents should not have ignored that thinking as mere scratches, mentions WNDU in their report.