By Kevin Murphy
KANSAS CITY, Mo (Reuters) - A Missouri couple was charged on Wednesday with endangering the welfare of child after a pet ferret allegedly chewed off most of their four-month-old son's fingers while he was left home alone.
Ryan R. Waldo, 33, and Carrie R. Waldo, 25, were each charged in Jackson County on Wednesday and have not yet entered a plea, said Van Buckley, public information officer for the county prosecutor, Jean Peters Baker.
Documents filed as part of the charges state that the Waldos told police they were asleep when the ferret attack occurred on January 10 in their home in Grain Valley, Missouri. The couple said they awoke to find the boy screaming and bloody and that Ryan Waldo threw the ferret against the dishwasher, killing it.
The infant was taken to the hospital, where seven fingers were amputated because they had been chewed down to the knuckles, the charges state.
Grain Valley police investigated cell phone records and used GPS technology to determine that the Waldos were exchanging text messages from various locations at the time of the ferret attack, when they had said they were at home, court documents show.
The Waldos told investigators the ferret had never bitten anyone, but a person with a ferret rescue organization told their landlord the couple wanted to give up the animal because it had bitten the infant twice, documents allege.
Ryan and Carrie Waldo face one felony count each of endangering the welfare of a child. Their infant son and a sibling have been removed from the parents' custody while the case proceeds, according to Buckley.
(Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by Greg McCune)