Category Archives: Neglect

AR Infant Nearly Eaten By Rats

.jpg photo of Parents of Rat Bitten Baby
Erica Shyrock, 19, and Charles Elliott, 18.

Baby found with nearly 100 rat bites,
parents charged

MAGNOLIA, AR  –  An Arkansas couple were arrested after their newborn baby was found to have between 75 and 100 rat bites.

Police were called to Magnolia Regional Medical Center after the baby girl was taken to the emergency room for treatment for the bites.

A nurse said the 15-day-old child weighed five pounds and had been bitten at least 100 times.

Police said that the baby had bites on her arms, fingers and face, with one bite on the baby’s forehead measuring about an inch wide with the skull visible.

Police identified the child’s parents as Erica Shyrock, 19, and Charles Elliott, 18.

Elliott’s mother said that her son told her that the child had been bitten by a mouse, but said he told her he was afraid the child would be taken away if he took the baby to the hospital.

Shyrock told police that she put the baby to sleep at 5:30 a.m. Sunday.  The baby woke her up screaming at 7:30 a.m. and she found the baby covered in blood.

Shyrock told police that both she and Elliott knew that there were rats in the home, but did nothing to get rid of them.

Elliott told police that he and Shyrock woke up at 5 a.m. to the baby crying and saw blood everywhere and rat footprints in the crib.   But he and Shyrock waited to take the baby to he hospital until his mother arrived around 9 a.m.

Both Elliott and Shyrock were arrested, charged with endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree.

A Columbia County deputy prosecuting attorney said that new charges of permitting abuse of a minor with serious physical injury will be filed against the pair.  The new charge is a felony.

When police searched the home, they said they found the baby’s bassinet with rat footprints in blood, the baby’s hat covered in blood and rodent droppings on a nearby table.

Monday, the baby had facial reconstruction to repair the forehead injury.

Tuesday, doctors at Arkansas Children’s Hospital told police that the injuries were so severe that the bites would have taken hours and the baby would have been in distress during the time. 

The doctor told police that he believes that the parents were either not at the home or were so incapacitated that they were not able to respond. The doctor said he found 75 to 100 bites covering the child.

Abilene Conference To Train And Solutions For Child Abuse

.jpg photo of Speaker at Child Abuse Conference
Abilene Christian University graduate, Jennifer Sterling, said she suffered with abuse for as long as she can remember.

Speaker shares battle with Child Abuse at Champion for Children conference

ABILENE, Texas  –  An Abilene Christian University graduate stood in front of a room full of child abuse prevention professionals and detailed her battle with child abuse as part of her keynote address Friday.

Jennifer Sterling said she suffered with abuse for as long as she can remember.  She said some of her earliest memories are of her mother yelling at her, her older brother molesting her and her father’s sickness.

Sterling was the keynote speaker for the 18th annual Champion for Children conference, where child care, child prevention and law enforcement professionals come together to train and discuss solutions for child abuse in the Big Country.

Abilene Mayor Norm Archibald was among many city leaders present at the luncheon.  He said there were 462 child abuse cases in 2016 in Taylor County.  Taylor County Sheriff Detective John Graham said that number is high because of the number of cases being reported, not because of an increase in children being abused.

One of the biggest concerns for Sterling, who is a social worker in Fort Worth, is children who end up in situations like hers.

She said although a number of reports were filed on her behalf, she had denied all abuse when asked.  Statistically Sterling said one in 10 children share their outcries.

“I always felt so completely ashamed of it and so responsible for it, I never told anyone,” Sterling said.

When Sterling was 17, her best friend’s parents took her in and she was able to break through her situation.  Since then, she graduated from ACU with a graduate degree, and she and her husband have now been certified to become foster parents themselves.

Michigan Couple Charged With Neglect

.jpg photo of woman accused of neglect
Megan Schug, 23

Mom charged with Child Abuse as son, 4,
in critical condition

Detroit, MI  –  A 23-year-old mother was arrested and a warrant was being sought for her 34-year-old boyfriend after Battle Creek police alleged the woman’s son suffered neglect.

The 4-year-old boy, Maloyd Gaines, was reported in critical condition Thursday afternoon at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, according to Battle Creek police. The hospital said his condition was not available.

Detective Sgt. Troy Gilleylen said the boy was malnourished and kept locked in a room and had injuries over several parts of his body.

Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert issued a charge of second-degree child abuse against Megan Schug of Battle Creek Thursday morning and she was arraigned in the afternoon in Calhoun County District Court.  Gilbert also issued a similar warrant for Isaac Miller, known as Mike, Schug’s boyfriend and father of one of her children.  Battle Creek police were looking for him Thursday afternoon.

At the arraignment, Magistrate David Heiss said Schug faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the charge.  He set bond at $20,000 cash and scheduled a preliminary examination for April 6.

Watching from the audience were Schug’s mother, Melissa Schug, and her sister, Morgan Schug.

Outside the courtroom both said they had no idea about the charges until they attended the arraignment.

“Nobody told me anything before I came to court,” Melissa Schug said.  “Just that he was in serious condition.  I don’t know what is going on.”

She often visits her daughter and takes her to buy food.  She said her grandson is always happy when she sees him and she calls him “my little Sumo” because he was chunky as a baby.

“He is such a sweetie.  He is a sweetie.  He loves his Nanna and he loves his aunties.  He is a good kid.”

Police said they believe the boy has a mental disability and said he doesn’t speak.  Melissa Schug said her grandson doesn’t talk much around strangers “but my baby talks; he talks to me and he is happy.”
And he eats, she said.

“He loves vegetables.  He is not good on peas but me and him would eat the heck out of spinach.  We would mix it with eggs and eat the heck out of it.”

She last saw her grandson about two weeks ago and didn’t detect any problems.  However, she admits she doesn’t like Miller.

“I just didn’t like him,” Schug said, “just the way he was.  She said he was not abusive but I know he drank and I don’t like people who drink.”

She said Miller once said he had to be stern with the boy.

“He said he had to be strict because he is a boy and I said he is not putting his hands on my grandson and she promised me.”

Police said they believe that the child was sometimes locked in a closet but Melissa Schug said she never saw that happen.

Officers were called to Bronson Battle Creek at 6:18 p.m. Wednesday after the child was taken to the emergency room by LifeCare Ambulance.

Schug told officers her son had not been feeling well for a few days and she was unable to feed him cereal about 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Police described the child’s condition as “severely dilapidated state of health” and Gilleylen said he had a low body temperature.  The boy was transferred to Kalamazoo for treatment.

The boy had a round cut on his nose, large sores on his right side of his thigh and leg and substantial bruising to his toes on his left foot. Gilbert said he had injuries on his buttocks, back, feet, and head.

Police later went to the home in the 200 block of East Emmett Street and said they found questionable living conditions.  Shug’s three daughters were taken to foster care homes by Child Protective Services, but Gilleylen said they appear to be in good health.  Melissa Schug said Thursday afternoon she still is trying to find her granddaughters.

The case remains under investigation by the detective bureau.

Parts Of IN Seeing Rise In Child Maltreatment

.jpg photo of Child Abuse seminar
sIndiana eminar focused on youth issues in Vermillion and Parke counties.

Vermillion sees ‘huge increase’ in
Child Abuse, Neglect

Indiana  –  Vigo County isn’t the only Wabash Valley community with a high rate of abuse and neglect, according to a recent study.

In 2015, Vermillion County ranked 11th highest among Indiana’s 92 counties, with an abuse/neglect rate of nearly 36 per 1,000 children under age 18, according to the recently released Kids Count in Indiana 2017.  The state average was about 17 children per 1,000 children.

Parke County ranked 50th among 92 counties, with an abuse/neglect rate of nearly 17 per 1,000 children.

“Vermillion has seen a huge increase … and definitely outpaced the rate of the state and Parke County,” said Katie Kincaid, one of the presenters during a seminar in Clinton hosted by the Indiana Youth Institute and Valley Professionals Community Health Center.

The seminar focused on youth issues in Vermillion and Parke counties.  In 2010, Vermillion’s child abuse/neglect rate was 19.2 per 1,000 children; the 2015 rate represented a decline from 2014, when it was 43.8 per 1,000 children.

Kincaid asked the audience, which consisted of about 30 people who work for youth-serving agencies, about possible reasons for the high rate of abuse/neglect.  “We see a lot of drug use,” said Andrea Williams, local office director for the Indiana Department of Child Services in Vermillion and Parke counties.

The drugs being abused include meth, heroin and prescription pills, according to audience members.

“I think you hit the nail on the head.  Drugs are a big player here,” Kincaid said, not only in Vermillion County, but statewide.

When DCS removes a child from a home, it records the reason, and “in more and more cases, drugs and alcohol abuse on the part of the parents are being cited,” Kincaid said.  In 2013, it accounted for less than a third of cases, while in 2016, it represented more than half of the cases.

Williams said drug use often tends to be generational, which creates challenges when trying to place a child with another family member; those family members — aunts, uncles or even grandparents — may have substance abuse issues as well.

“It continues to cycle through the family, making it difficult to find those stable care-givers who kids are familiar with,” Williams said.

Kincaid cited other parent risk factors for abuse, including lack of understanding of child development; stress; isolation; and personal history of abuse or neglect.

She noted that statewide, reports of neglect and abuse to DCS have increased from 155,867 in 2012 to 202,493 in 2015.  While that likely is due in part to increased cases, “It can also reflect increased awareness and more people being aware of the fact they should report and how to report,” she said.

Anyone over age 18 in Indiana is a “mandatory reporter” if they “have reason to believe” a child is a victim of abuse or neglect, Kincaid said.  Those reporting don’t need to “know for sure” or be able to prove it, she said.  If they suspect abuse/neglect, they should call the DCS hotline at 1-800-800-5556 or text [SMS]: 741741.

Also, citizens or those reporting should not attempt to investigate, which is the job of the Department of Child Services.  “It’s our role to report, and let DCS take it from there,” Kincaid said.

Broc Leslie, principal at Ernie Pyle Elementary, praised the DCS office for creating awareness and educating school personnel, and the public, about the reporting process.  He also noted that local schools have hosted a program called Strengthening Families, offered by Hamilton Center.

Vigo County had the third highest child abuse/neglect rate among 92 counties, at nearly 42 per 1,000 children under age 18.

During the seminar, those attending also discussed data related to education, poverty, mental health and violent relationships.

VA Father And Child Shot With Same Bullet

.jpg photo of Child Abuse graphic
Maurice Anthony Jones, 30, was arrested after failing to seek medical attention for his 6-year-old Daughter after a gun discharged, hitting both he and the Child.

Police: Newport News man charged with
Child Abuse/Neglect after 6-year-old shot

Newport News, VA  –  A 30-year-old Newport News man was arrested Sunday after he was accused of treating his 6-year-old daughter’s gunshot wound with a first aid kit himself, police said.

Officers responded just before 8:30 p.m. Sunday to a residence in the 700 block of Waterfront Circle for a request to check on the welfare of a child, according to Master Police Officer Brandon Maynard.

There, police met with the child’s father, identified as 30-year-old Maurice Anthony Jones.  While speaking with him, a woman entered the residence and appeared to be very upset, Maynard said.

The woman told officers a child had been shot inside the residence the afternoon of Feb. 26.

Jones told police his daughters were running around the house after they got home from school, and the 6-year-old accidentally knocked a handgun off the bed.  The impact with the floor caused the gun to discharge a round, which struck Jones in the leg and then hit his daughter in her right leg, Maynard said.

Jones did not call 911 or take his daughter to the hospital, but treated his daughter’s wound with a first aid kit, Maynard said.

Police checked the girl’s leg and found a healing wound consistent with a gunshot wound.  Jones also appeared to have a scar on his leg consistent with a gunshot wound, according to Maynard.

Officers seized the firearm from the residence and also located a marijuana grinder, plastic baggies and cigarillos on a table in the living room, according to Maynard.  Jones said he had marijuana on him.

Child Protective Services was notified.  The child was taken to a local hospital for medical treatment to the gunshot wound, according to Maynard.

Jones was arrested and charged with PWID marijuana, reckless handling of a firearm and child abuse/neglect causing serious injury.