Matthew and Elizabeth Sebolka Richmond Virginia couple charged with newborn baby’s death after blaming 10 day girl’s child abuse death on family cat.
A Virginia couple has been charged with child abuse after their 10-day-old daughter died from head injuries. The newborn baby’s death follows the father allegedly blaming the child’s death on the family cat.
Matthew and Elizabeth Sebolka were arrested in Richmond on Monday for allegedly abusing their newborn daughter, Raven Michelle Sebolka, at home last month.
Each parent is charged with child abuse and neglect. Police said additional charges are pending.
Police were alerted after the couple brought the newborn to VCU Medical Center on July 30 suffering severe injuries.
The infant had bruising on her head, a skull fracture and signs of potential suffocation, police sources told WTVR.
Father previously charged with animal cruelty
Officers interviewed the child’s father, who told them he left his daughter in her car seat when he went to the bathroom. He allegedly claimed the family’s cat was sitting on the baby’s neck when he came back out, according to police sources.
Matthew told police that he alerted the child’s mother and she allegedly noticed the baby had a rash and puffy eyes. She then allegedly took her daughter to the local hospital by bus.
Raven died in the hospital Aug. 10, and the medical examiner has ruled her death a homicide.
Criminal records sourced by WTVR revealed that Sebolka previously being charged with animal cruelty in Richmond. Those charges were later dropped, but Sebolka was found guilty on three counts of inadequate care of an animal by the owner.
In an online obituary for Raven, her grandparents said, ‘The family ask that in lieu of flowers or donations you hold your children a little longer, rock them a little more, read them another story and rejoice in each happy smile.’
The Sebolkas were booked into the Richmond jail within hours of each other Monday night where they remain held without bond. The two each have a court date set for 10:50 a.m. on Sept. 21.