A Grain Valley couple has been charged with one count each of first-degree child endangerment, stemming from an incident in which the couple's 4-month-old baby received severe injuries to his fingers as a result of bites from a pet ferret.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced the charges against Ryan R. Waldo and Carrie R. Waldo on Wednesday.
Police reports said the couple told police that the Ryan was asleep upstairs and Carrie was asleep on the couch next to the infant's baby rocker. They said the infant's screams woke the mother, who found him covered in blood with several fingers missing.
Ryan Waldo told police that he awoke to the screams and discovered what the ferret had done. He said he caught the ferret and threw it against the dishwasher, killing the animal.
The infant was taken to a local hospital because seven of his fingers required surgery to complete the amputation process because the ferret had chewed the fingers down to the knuckle.
The couple had initially told police that the ferret had never bitten anyone, but a person with a ferret rescue organization told police the family's landlord had contacted the group four days before the incident, telling them the family wanted to give up the ferret since it had bitten the baby twice.
Cell phone records also indicated that the parents were exchanging text messages from several different areas at a time when they claimed to be asleep, police said.
The infant and another sibling have been removed from the parents' custody pending the outcome of the case.
The bond has been set at $10,000 for both parents.