Moro, Arkansas: On Friday, December 16, officers located the body of a 5-year-old boy, Blu Roland, buried beneath the hallway floor of his home at approximately 10:45 pm.
"Based on initial findings, it's believed the boy died from injuries sustained in the home, possibly three months ago," Arkansas State Police said in a statement. "The state medical examiner will determine the manner and cause of death."
His 6-year-old sister, Taylor Roland, was found with what are believed to be burns on her scalp and was transported to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital where she is being treated and is reported to be in stable condition. Doctors there also reportedly indicated that she was malnourished and underweight.
A neighbor, identified as Glenda Farrell spoke with WMC saying, "It's devastating because it's just out of nowhere. Right here, in Christmas time? It's surreal." She went on to say, "You'd see them coming and going but really, nothing to be concerning, that would make you think anything of that magnitude was going on."
According to information released by WMC, the paternal grandmother, Karen Roland, said she had been fighting for visitation rights of the children for months.
Information shared on GoFundMe revealed that Karen had just successfully obtained a court order allowing her to see her grandchildren every week. So with court order in hand, she arrived at the home to see them and was allegedly told that Blu was at a friend's house and Taylor couldn't walk.
"I heard Taylor whimpering," Karen told WMC. "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."
Inside, she said that she found Taylor with serious injuries including, "puncture wounds like scissors had poked through her head. It looked like she had been strangled around the neck, bite marks on her legs, several fractured ribs we found out, and an old injury to her leg, and it looked it had been fractured before and didn't grow back correctly."
She rushed her granddaughter to the hospital.
More family members then arrived at the residence, concerned about Blu and confronted the parents, 28-year-old Ashley Roland and 33-year-old Nathan Bridges. Family members stated that the pair allegedly confessed saying that Blu's death was an "accident."
Roland and Bridges have both been charged with capitol murder, abuse of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence and endangering the welfare of a minor.
They are being held at the Lee County Jail.
A GoFundMe account has been established to assist with burial expenses for Blu and to assist with Taylor's recovery and re-settlement, presumably, with her grandmother.