Lee County court records show Ashley Rolland and her boyfriend, Nathan Bridges, face a slew of charges in connection with her son Blu’s death. Rolland has been charged with capital murder, two counts of permitting child abuse, abuse of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence, endangering the welfare of a child, and battery. Bridges was charged with capital murder, abuse of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence, endangering the welfare of a child, and battery.
If convicted of the capital murder charge, they could each face life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
Blu’s body was discovered Dec. 16, and Arkansas State Police said they believed the boy could have been dead for about three months.
According NBC News, Blu’s remains were found on what would have been his sixth birthday. The affidavit cited by NBC News reportedly says Bridges killed Blu as "punishment" because Blu bit Bridges' finger. He then allegedly held the boy’s head in a toilet bowl, causing him to drown.
NBC News reports Rolland told law enforcement officials Blu died Sept. 9. She reportedly said she saw Bridges leave the bathroom, then walked in and saw her son "limp." The affidavit says Rolland claimed Bridges "cut a hold in their wooden floor, dug a hole in the ground, and buried" Blu.
Another woman, Rebecca Fiting, reportedly told police Ashely said she saw her son leave the bathroom "with his face/body swelling and foaming at the mouth before collapsing and dying."
The affidavit says Rolland told Fiting she "did not know what to do and had buried Blu under the floorboards inside her residence."
A 6-year-old girl, Blu’s sister, was also found in the home with likely burn injuries to her scalp. WMC-TV reports the girl reportedly also has broken ribs and other wounds.
Karen Rolland, Blu’s grandmother, told WMC the girl "had puncture wounds like scissors” in her head and it "looked like she been strangled around the neck."
Karen Rolland reportedly noticed bite marks on the girl’s legs and an older injury that did not heal correctly. She was transported to a hospital, and doctors noted she was severely malnourished and only weighed 36 pounds.
According to the affidavit, Karen saw the girl’s injuries when she went to Ashley’s house for a court-ordered visit. Karen then called authorities to report Blu “was possibly deceased.”
Deputies reportedly went into the home and found "newly nailed-down boards" and “disturbed earth underneath.” They dug and reportedly found a flip-flop and blanket.
Officials obtained a search warrant and eventually discovered "an unidentified mass believed to be a small human body wrapped in multiple layers of plastic bags."
Karen Rolland reportedly filed for guardianship of the girl and has been granted emergency temporary custody.
Ashley Rolland is in custody at the St. Francis County Jail, while Bridges is reportedly at the Lee County Jail. They are both being held without bond.