EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFLA) — Two parents and an aunt are facing charges after a gruesome discovery was made at a home in Evansville, Indiana, when a baby was found “nearly eaten alive by rats.”
According to court documents obtained by NBC Affiliate WFIE, a 6-month-old boy was found face down in his bassinet, covered in blood, on Sept. 13, 2023. The baby was found with “more than 50 bites to his forehead, cheek, nose, thigh, foot, and toes.”
On the baby’s left hand was a large wound on the top of his left ring finger “that exposed the bone.” On his right hand, the baby had numerous bites, starting at his elbow and going down his hand.
All four of the boy’s fingers and thumb on his right hand were “missing” flesh from the top, leaving the bones in his fingertips exposed. According to the affidavit, the baby’s index and pinky fingers were the most severe, as they “were missing flesh halfway down each finger.”
“According to the hospital records, (the child) suffered a near-fatal event,” the probable cause documents state.
The baby’s father, David Schonabaum, said he found the boy in his bassinet, covered in blood, and called the police. He then told investigators that there was a rodent problem in the home but said the home had been professionally treated several times.
When police entered the home, they observed that rooms inside, specifically the kitchen and basement, were “covered in trash and rodent feces.”
David Schonabaum said he lived in the home with his wife, Angel Schonabaum, and their three children. Delaina Thurman, Angel Schonabaum’s sister, and her two children were also living in the home at the time of the incident.
The affidavit shows that two of the children told a teacher earlier this month that their toes had been bitten by mice while they were sleeping. A few days later, the Department of Child Safety visited the home.
When the DCS worker arrived at the home, Thurman said they have a “normal amount of mice for that area” and told the worker that the marks on her child’s toes were scratches from the bed frame.
According to documents, the Schonabaum’s had two previous interactions with DCS. In Dec. 2022, DCS substantiated a claim of neglect on David and Angel regarding their middle child being injured due to lack of supervision. Then, in June 2023, DCS substantiated a claim of physical abuse from the same child, a 3-year-old, against David Schonabaum.
The home was regularly checked by social workers, who reported that the house was “cluttered, had trash sitting out, had animal feces on the floors, had dirty dishes piled up, and had foul odors emitting from the kitchen,” according to the affidavit. However, the caseworker’s notes indicated the state of the home was “slowly improving.”
The last social worker walkthrough prior to the baby’s incident took place on Sept. 9, 2023.
According to documents, all three adults living in the home are facing felony child neglect charges. Police also confirmed on Friday that the 6-month-old boy had been released from the hospital, however, his condition is unknown at this time.