An abused six-year-old boy has been found buried under the floor of his mother’s home in Arkansas, police say.
The discovery prompted the arrest of the mother and her boyfriend. Deputies in Lee County called special agents to the scene in Moro, around 75 miles east of the state capital of Little Rock, at around 10.45pm on Friday, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
The Arkansas Department of Public Safety said in a press release that “based on initial findings, it’s believed the boy died from injuries sustained in the home, possibly three months ago”.
“The state medical examiner will determine the manner and cause of death,” the agency added.
A girl, also aged six, was also discovered at the home, with police saying she had burn scars on her scalp. She’s considered to be in stable condition after being taken to a Memphis hospital.
Mother Ashley Roland, 28, and her boyfriend, Nathan Bridges, 33, have both been arrested by state police and charged with capital murder, abuse of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence, and endangering the welfare of a minor.
According to the description of a GoFundMe fundraiser started by a friend of the grandmother of the children, she had been attempting to gain custody for over a year.
“My friend, Karen, has been trying to get custody of her grandchild for over a year. She went through the proper channels and 3 months ago she had to pay a ridiculous amount of money but just got her court order (this week) for her to see the kids every weekend,” Anita Widby wrote on Saturday.
Ms Widby added that she attempted to pick up her grandchildren on Friday but was told that the boy was at a friend’s house and that the older child was unable to walk.
The grandmother “immediately took her to the hospital,” Ms Widby said, adding that the girl had “severe” injuries and “burns”.
“I saw her…this child’s hair had been chopped off, she is malnourished, cracked ribs, and many many burns on her body in various stages of healing,” she wrote.
“Later, Karen was notified that the youngest grandchild’s decomposing body had been found. These children have endured so much pain, neglect, and death,” she added.