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6-month-old baby nearly eaten alive by rats while in bassinet in Evansville home

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Posted at 4:49 PM, Sep 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-22 16:49:14-04

EVANSVILLE — A six-month old baby in Evansville was nearly eaten alive by rats while sleeping in their bassinet.

According to an affidavit, Evansville Police Department was called to a home in the 1600 block of Linwood Avenue on September 13.

The 911 caller, David Schonabaum, told dispatch he found his son in his bassinet, covered in blood and that he believed his son's fingers were chewed off. The baby was transported to St. Vincent Hospital and later flown to Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis.

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Documents state the six-month old baby boy suffered more than 50 bites to his forehead, right cheek and nose. He had two bites to his right thigh and several bites on his right foot and toes.

His right hand suffered, "the most traumatic injuries with numerous bites starting at his elbow and going down to his hand. All four of his fingers and thumb on his right hand were missing the flesh from the top of them, exposing the fingertip bones. The damage to his index and pinky fingers were the most severe, as they were missing the flesh halfway down each finger," documents state.

According to hospital records, the attack was nearly deadly. The baby needed a blood transfusion from the amount of blood loss he suffered.

Court records state the family told detectives they developed a problem with mice and rats in March of 2023 and contacted Terminix to begin treatments.

Schonabaum stated, "despite the treatments, the problem persisted and he was catching as many as four rats a night and running out of traps."

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Court documents revealed the parents of the baby, Angel and David Schonabaum, had previously been confronted by the Department of Child Services several times.

In December of 2022, DCS filed a claim of neglect due to one of their children being injured due to lack of supervision. In June of 2023, an allegation of physical abuse was made against David. They were also being monitored by Maglinger Home Based Services for an unsanitary home, including clutter, animal feces on floors, and foul odors.

Angel's sister, Delaina was also living in the home. Documents reveal she admitted to police that her oldest daughter and Angel and David's oldest daughter told a teacher on September 1 that their toes were bit by mice when they were sleeping.

Both Angel and David Schonabaum are now facing one count of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, a level 3 felony, and two counts of neglect of a dependent, a level 6 felony. Delaina Thurman is facing two counts neglect of a dependent.

According to Evansville PD, the baby has been released from the hospital and placed in a safe home by DCS.