A young boy found buried under floorboards at his Arkansas home had been dead for 15 weeks – killed when his mother’s friend stuck his head in a toilet as “punishment”, according to harrowing court documents.
According to an NBC News affidavit, Blu Rolland’s decomposing body was found on Friday — his sixth birthday — wrapped in “several layers of plastic bags” under “newly nailed boards” at his home in Moro.
His father’s family had sounded the alarm after Blu’s sister was found with severe burns – and the little boy was repeatedly kept away from scheduled custody visits New York Post reports.
Blu’s mother, Ashley Rolland, 28 – who has a big black eye in her booking photo – was quick to blame her boyfriend Nathan Bridges, 33, after both were arrested the day after the gruesome discovery, the outlet said.
She told police that her abusive boyfriend killed Blu on Sept. 9 by sticking his head in the toilet as “punishment” for biting his finger, the affidavit said.
The mother claimed to have been in another room at the time and said she went into the bathroom when Bridges left and saw her son “struggling to breathe and his body was limp”.
She told police that her boyfriend then “cut a hole in her wooden floor, dug a hole in the ground and buried it [Blu] under the house”.
However, a witness named Rebecca Fiting told police Ashley Rolland told her that “Blu had come out of the bathroom with his face/body swollen and foaming at the mouth before collapsing and dying”.
The mother said “she didn’t know what to do and had Blu buried under the floorboards,” according to Fiting, whose relationship with the suspect was not spelled out, NBC said.
The children’s father, Ashley’s ex-husband Dustin Rolland, 30, filed a complaint on September 14 for “refusing the ordered visit” – unaware that his son had been dead for five days, according to his ex-wife’s timeline was dead.
It was his own mother, Karen Rolland, who finally called the police after Blu could once again not be handed over for a visit – but his sister came out with a badly scabbed head from severe burns.
The grandmother told NBC News the girl’s clothes were soaked in urine, she “barely could walk” — and her first request was for “water and something to eat.”
“I told her she was safe and just the look on her face was pure horror,” she told the outlet.
Ashley Rolland told police that Bridges also inflicted those injuries on her daughter, saying he held her under hot water “as punishment for her behavior problems,” according to the affidavit.
An online fundraiser that had raised more than $25,000 as of Friday also revealed grisly burns on the girl’s stomach.
“This child’s hair has been cut off, she is malnourished, has broken ribs and many, many burns on her body in various stages of healing,” it said.
Ashley Rolland and Bridges are charged with capital murder, abusing a corpse, tampering with physical evidence, endangering the well-being of a minor and assault. Rolland is also facing two other child molestation charges.
Both are being held without bail and will appear in court on January 17.
The children’s father told NBC he was “trying to fight for my kids.”
“I wish I could have been there a long time ago but she held me back from my kids,” he said of his ex-wife, whom he married in December 2015 before divorcing in June last year.
“I don’t want anyone to think it was my fault. I love my children very much,” he said.
This article was originally published by the New York Post and is reproduced with permission
Originally posted when a 5-year-old boy buried under floorboards was drowned in the toilet by mom’s friend, she says