According to court filings, the small child who drowned in a toilet bowl and whose decomposing body was discovered under the floorboards of a house in rural Arkansas had been dead for three months.
Investigators were informed by Ashley Rolland, 28, that her son Blu had been disciplined by Nathan Bridges, her live-in partner, 33, after the child bit his finger. The 6-year-old daughter of Rolland was discovered inside the house with serious scalp burns that Rolland claimed were also brought on by Bridges.
They are both accused of murder in the first degree, mistreatment of a corpse, tampering with tangible evidence, and endangering the welfare of a child. Additionally, Rolland is accused of two felonies for allowing child abuse.
The unknown is the age of the children, who are not related to Bridges biologically. Blu would have turned six years old on December 16, the day his body was found, according to Karen Rolland, the children’s paternal grandmother. However, according to court records, he was born in 2017, making him 5 years old, which is consistent with the age of his burned sister, who is believed to be 6.
Ashley Rolland is cooperating with the officers, telling them that her son was killed on September 9 after Bridges chastised him for biting his finger, according to the affidavit submitted in Lee County Circuit Court. Rolland also claimed that Bridges held her daughter’s head under extremely hot water as “punishment” for misbehavior, resulting in burns.
The boy’s death was discovered after Rolland’s 57-year-old ex-mom-in-law called the police after her son, the kids’ biological father, tried to pick them up for a court-ordered custody visit on December 16 in the morning. The father became concerned when just the daughter—whose scalp burns had scabbed over—was present. According to the complaint, when police arrived at the residence at 10:45 p.m. to check on the resident’s welfare, they discovered freshly hammered flooring and “disturbed soil.”
Anita Widby, who describes herself as a friend of the paternal grandmother, stated that Karen Rolland had been attempting to obtain custody of the children for more than a year on a GoFundMe page created to assist with paying for the funeral of the deceased kid. Widby said that the child who is still alive has endured unspeakable abuse. 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 on the plea for funds. “These injuries are presumed to be from her mother and the mother’s boyfriend. Later, Karen was notified that the youngest grandchild’s decomposing body had been found.”