Family shares disturbing details of boy found dead under home, sister’s injuries
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC/Gray News) - A mother in Arkansas and her boyfriend were arrested after a 5-year-old boy’s body was found in the boyfriend’s home.
The boy’s 6-year-old sister is reportedly being treated for injuries in Memphis.
Ashley Rolland, the mother of the children, was charged with capital murder, abuse of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence, endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree, accomplice to capital murder, first-degree battery and permitting child abuse.
Karen Rolland, the grandmother of the children, said her grandson, Blu, was found in a wooden box found in his mother’s boyfriend’s house in Moro, Arkansas. She said he would have turned 6 years old this month.
Karen Rolland also said her granddaughter, 6-year-old Taylor Rolland, is recovering from multiple injuries. Taylor suffered multiple broken ribs, burns and more injuries.
Taylor was taken from the home by Karen Rolland before the discovery of Blu’s body was made later that day.
The grandmother told WMC she had been fighting for visitation rights for months after the boyfriend, Nathan Bridges, allegedly pulled a gun on her son, the children’s biological father. She said she was advised by a lawyer not to go to the house.
“I heard Taylor whimpering,” Karen Rolland said. “Of course, I didn’t know what was going on, and I bust through the door myself because I didn’t like the whimpering. Sounded like she was hurting.”
Through a court order, Karen Rolland said she was able to get her visitation rights back. She said she went to Bridges’ home on Friday and found Taylor with serious injuries but no sign of her grandson.
“She had puncture wounds like scissors had poked through her head,” Karen Rolland said. “It looked like she been strangled around the neck, bite marks on her legs, several fractured ribs we found out ... and an old injury to her leg that had been fractured before that didn’t grow back correctly.”
Karen Rolland said her granddaughter also told her that Bridges threw boiling water on her.
Taylor was rushed to the hospital by her grandmother with several injuries, including second and third-degree burns on her arms, chest and feet.
Doctors reportedly said Taylor was malnourished and weighed just 36 pounds.
More family members went to the home in Moro that day and confronted Ashley Rolland and Bridges. Karen Rolland said the two eventually confessed, claiming Blu’s death was an “accident.”
Authorities found Blu’s body under the house later that night.
Glenda Farrell is a neighbor who lives just feet away from the house.
“You’re living right here, and it’s right under your nose, and you don’t see anything out of the ordinary,” she said.
Farrell said the children and their mother moved into the home earlier this summer.
Arkansas State Police are leading the investigation.
A GoFundMe has been set up to pay for Blu’s funeral expenses and more. Donations can also be made by contacting First National Bank and requesting to donate to “Taylor’s care and Blu’s burial.”
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