EVANSVILLE, Ind. (TCD) -- Two women and a man were taken into custody this week after a 6-month-old boy was found with most of his flesh bitten off one of his hands due to rat bites, as well as other injuries.
According to the affidavit cited by WEHT-TV, on Sept. 13, David Schonabaum called Evansville Police and reported his infant son had blood all over his body and that his fingers looked like they were missing. EMS responded to the 1600 block of Linwood Avenue and transported the child to an Indianapolis hospital for treatment.
The boy reportedly sustained at least 50 rodent bites on his forehead, cheek, and nose, though the worst wounds were on the toddler’s hand. WEHT reports the victim had to undergo a blood transfusion due to the "near-fatal event."
WEVV-TV, which also cites the affidavit, said Schonabaum lived in the Linwood Avenue home with his wife, Angel Schonabaum, and her sister, Delaina Thurman. Angel and David Schonabaum have three children and Thurman has two. All had moved into the home of David Schonabaum’s cousin. David Schonabaum and his cousin reportedly reached an agreement where the Schonabaums could live in the home rent-free, but in return, they would have to take care of the house.
David Schonabaum reportedly told Evansville Police he realized in March that the home had a major rat infestation. He put out traps and other bait boxes, but it allegedly wasn’t enough. In one message to Terminix, David reportedly said the house was "completely overwhelmed with rats."
A Terminix employee reportedly saw garbage bags in the yard, which they explained would exacerbate the critter problem.
When police searched the home after the boy went to the hospital, they reportedly noticed rat footprints in the child’s blood.
According to WEHT, Thurman reportedly told police that her daughter and David and Angel Schonabaum’s daughter informed a teacher their toes got bitten by mice while they slept. DCS contacted Thurman, and she said there was a "normal amount of mice" in the house.
A behavioral health service worked with the Schonabaums starting in April, and case managers noticed the home had trash all over the place, animal feces on the ground, and dirty dishes in the sink. Over time, however, the situation began "slowly improving." The case manager went to the home four days before the child went to the hospital.