Parents arrested after infant nearly eaten alive by rats
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David Schonabaum, Angel Schonabaum, and Delaina Thurman (Vanderburgh County Jail)

David Schonabaum, Angel Schonabaum, and Delaina Thurman (Vanderburgh County (Ind.) Jail)

A man and two women in Indiana were arrested after a 6-month-old baby in their care nearly died from being eaten alive by rats, suffering dozens of bites from the rodents, many of which went all the way down to the bone.

The infant boy’s parents, David Anthony Schonabaum and Angel Schonabaum, as well as his aunt, Delaina Thurmon, were taken into custody last week and charged with a spate of felonies in connection with what happened to the child, court records show.

David Schonabaum was charged with one count of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury and two counts of neglect of a dependent — placing dependent in an endangering situation. His wife was charged with two counts of the former and four counts of the latter, while Thurman, his sister, is facing two counts of neglect — placing dependent in an endangering situation.

All three adults lived at the house with the vicim. Thurman had two young children of her own who also resided in the home.

Content warning: references to extreme child abuse follow.

Officers with the Evansville Police Department on Sept. 13 responded to a call about a baby requiring emergency medical attention at a residence located in the 1600 block of S. Linwood Avenue. The caller — later identified as David Schonabaum — told the dispatcher that he awoke to find his infant son “covered in blood” and said the boy’s fingers appeared to have been “chewed off.”

Upon arriving at the scene, first responders provided emergency medical treatment, stabilized the baby, and transported him to a local hospital. Soon after arriving, the boy was transported via helicopter to another hospital in Indianapolis for more specialized treatment.

In hospital records provided to police, doctors described the baby as suffering a “near fatal event” and required a blood transfusion after almost going into shock.

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