LEE COUNTY, Ark. – The body of an abused six-year-old boy was discovered beneath the hallway of his mother’s house in the small town of Moro, Arkansas, leading to the arrests of the woman and her boyfriend, according to reports.
Lee County deputies called the Arkansas State Police Friday night to the residence in Moro where the boy’s remains had been discovered buried beneath a floor. Law enforcement authorities said the boy may have been dead for up to three months, the New York Post reported.
“Based on initial findings, it’s believed the boy died from injuries sustained in the home, possibly three months ago,” the Arkansas Department of Public Safety said in a news release. “The state medical examiner will determine the manner and cause of death.”
Moreover, an abused six-year-old girl was also found in the home, police said. Authorities believe she suffered burns to her scalp. As a result, she was transported to a hospital in Memphis and is in stable condition.
Ashley Roland, 28, is the mother of the children. Nathan Bridges, 33, is presumed to be her boyfriend. They were both arrested by state police and each charged with capital murder, abuse of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence and endangering the welfare of a minor.
It remains unclear what led police to make the horrible discovery, although it is likely the result of the grandmother’s actions.
The children’s grandmother, Karen, had reportedly been attempting to gain custody for more than a year, according to a GoFundMe page posted by a friend.
The grandmother “worked through proper channels” and paid a “ridiculous amount of money,” but finally obtained a court order last week allowing her to see the children on weekends, Anita Widby wrote on the fundraising page.
Karen arrived at the residence on Friday to pick up her grandchildren. She was told the boy was at a friend’s house and the girl was unable to walk, Fox News reported.
After observing the girl’s condition, the grandmother rushed her to the hospital. The child’s hair had been chopped off, she was malnourished, had cracked ribs, and had several burns on her body in various stages of healing, according to Widby.
“These injuries are presumed to be from her mother and the mother’s boyfriend,” Widby wrote.
Later that day, the grandmother was notified by law enforcement authorities that her grandson’s body was found.
The town of Moro has a population of just over 200 people and is located about 75 miles east of Little Rock.