Parents blame the death of their three-week-old baby on their cat

NEWS AND COMMENT-VIRGINIA, USA: A couple living in Virginia, USA, have been charged with the murder of their three-week-old baby but they blamed their cat for their daughter’s death. Matthew and Elizabeth Sebolka have been charged with their daughter’s homicide according to a report on Microsoft News. Their daughter, Raven, had a skull fracture and there were signs of suffocation according to this report. She died in hospital. After an autopsy, the medical examiner ruled that her death was homicide.

Matthew Sebolka charged with child homicide with the child's mother but he blamed the cat
Matthew Sebolka charged with child homicide with the child’s mother but he blamed the cat. Image: News media.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats
Elizabeth Sebolka
Elizabeth Sebolka. Police photo.

On questioning, the father said that he had left his daughter in her car seat while going to the bathroom. He returned to find the family cat sitting on Raven’s neck. He alerted his wife, he said, who noticed that their child had a rash and puffy eyes. They rushed her to the local hospital in a bus. She was taken to the VCU Medical Centre with severe head injuries on July 30. The police were alerted.

In addition to homicide, they’ve been charged with child abuse and neglect with additional charges apparently pending. They are currently residing in Richmond jail. The grandparents have published an obituary for Raven online saying that she is a hero for her sister and many other children. They claim that she was loved “beyond measure and has worth that is untold”.

Criminal records indicate that the father had previously been charged with animal cruelty in Richmond. The charges were dropped but he was found guilty on three separate accounts of inadequate care of an animal by their owner.

Comment: Apparently the obituary is inaccurate. I wonder why they took their child to the hospital in a bus when they appear to have a car because they used a child car seat? Just a question in passing. It is the first time that I have read about parents passing off their cat as a homicidal maniac. It’s completely bizarre, obviously, and transparently a fiction.

We can only feel very bad about the child who with such misfortune was born to these parents if the allegations are proved to be true in a criminal court. But they have been charged and although the report is skimpy at the moment it does point to child neglect and homicide.


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