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Parents, aunt arrested after baby nearly dies from more than 50 rat bites

According to court documents, the child had bites on his face, leg and hands.
/ Source: TODAY

Two parents and an aunt are facing charges in Evansville, Indiana, after a baby in their care was found bloodied and covered in bites from rats.

According to court documents obtained by NBC affiliate WFIE and viewed by, the 6-month-old boy was found face down in his bassinet the morning of Sept. 13, 2023 with wounds all over his face and body. The probable cause affidavits for the father, David Anthony Schonabaum, and mother, Angel Schonabaum, say the boy had more than 50 bites to his forehead, right cheek and nose. He also had several bites on his right leg and foot.

On the baby's left hand, there was a large wound on the top of his ring finger that exposed the bone. On his right hand, there were bites starting from his elbow down to his hand. All four of the child's fingers and thumb on his right hand were missing flesh from the top, exposing the fingertip bones, according to the documents, with the index and pinky fingers the most severely injured and missing flesh halfway down each finger.

"According to the hospital records, (the child) suffered a near fatal event," the probable cause documents state.

David Schonabaum told police that he'd found the boy that morning covered in blood and called 9-1-1. He told investigators that the home had a rodent problem and that the house had been treated professionally for it several times. He also produced service records showing the home had been treated several times starting in the spring of 2023: March 31, April 24, May 23, June 30, July 26 and Aug. 21.

A white one level home with a porch and cluttered front yard.
The home where the child was found.WFIE

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 also live in the home.

David Schonabaum said Angel Schonabaum had checked herself into a mental health facility on Sept. 10, 2023. She was released on Sept. 13, a day early, due to the incident with her son, police said in court documents.

The affidavits show two of the children had told a teacher earlier this month that their toes had been bitten by mice while they slept and the Department of Child Safety had visited the home a few days later.

Police said Thurman told the DCS worker that the marks on her child's toes were scratches from the bed frame.

The Schonabaums also had two previous interactions with DCS. In December 2022, DCS substantiated a claim of neglect on David and Angel Schonabaum in regard to their middle child being injured due to lack of supervision. Later, in June 2023, DCS substantiated a claim of physical abuse from the same child, a 3-year-old, against David Schonabaum.

DCS declined to comment on the cases to WFIE.

The home was regularly checked on by social workers, who documented that it was "cluttered, had trash sitting out, had animal feces on the floors, had dirt, dishes piled up and had foul odors emitting from the kitchen," according to court documents. However, case workers did indicate the state of the home was "slowly improving."

The last social worker walkthrough of the home prior to the incident with the baby was earlier this month on Sept. 9, 2023.

All three adults living in the home are facing felony charges as a result of the incident. It was not immediately clear if either of the Schonabaums or Thurman had legal representation.