MORO, ARKANSAS: A 5-year-old boy, whose body was recently discovered beneath his house’s hallway floor, was reportedly killed three months ago, newly filed court documents revealed. Blu Rolland’s mother Ashley Rolland has alleged in court documents that the murder was committed by her live-in boyfriend – Nathan Bridges, who “cut a hole in their wooden floor, dug a hole in the ground, and buried [Blu] under the house”.
The fresh claims were reportedly submitted to the Lee County Circuit Court on Tuesday, December 20. As per the documents, the child’s life was taken on September 9 by Bridges, who put his head in a toilet bowl as “punishment”. Not just that, the 33-year-old man has also been accused of hurting Ashley’s other child, a six-year-old daughter, by shoving her under hot water “as punishment for her behavior issues.”
Currently, both the 28-year-old mother and her partner are in police’s custody. They were arrested last Saturday, December 17, and while the woman has been kept at the St Francis County Detention Center, her lover is being held at the Lee County Sheriff’s Department. The mother has been pressed with a series of charges that include capital murder, abuse of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence, endangering the welfare of a minor, and two counts of permitting child abuse. Bridges is also facing the same charges except the ‘permitting child abuse’ charge, The Daily Mail reported.
The new details emerge nearly a week after Blu’s body was found in the house under “newly nailed-down boards”. It has been said that it was the children’s paternal grandmother Karen Rolland, who alerted the authorities after meeting her granddaughter who “had apparent injuries that had scabbed over on top of her head.” During the court-ordered visit, the older woman also asked for Blu but was told he “was not at the residence”. Blu would have turned 6 on December 16, the day his body was discovered.
NBC News reported that “after a search with a warrant, authorities removed more flooring and dirt and discovered ‘an unidentified mass believed to be a small human body wrapped in multiple layers of plastic bags,’ which they transferred to the Arkansas State Crime Lab.” The cause and manner of death are expected to come in one to two months.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe has been started by a family friend named Anita Widby to get some financial help for the grieving family. In the campaign, she has written, “My friend, Karen, has been trying to get custody of her grandchild for over a year. She went through the proper channels and 3 months ago she had to pay a ridiculous amount of money but just got her court order (this week) for her to see the kids every weekend. She showed up to get her grandchildren Friday and was told the youngest was at a friend’s house and the oldest couldn’t walk. She immediately took her to the hospital. She was transferred to LeBonheur with severe injury and burns.”
Widby continued, “I saw her…this child’s hair had been chopped off, she is malnourished, cracked ribs, and many many burns on her body in various stages of healing. These injuries are presumed to be from her mother and the mother’s boyfriend. Later, Karen was notified that the youngest grandchild’s decomposing body had been found,” before adding, “These children have endured so much pain, neglect, and death. I desperately want to help lessen the financial burden that the burial for the youngest and items needed for the oldest will present. They have so much healing to do and I want us to come together and remove one burden from Karen’s plate.”