A Virginia couple has been charged with child abuse after their 10-day-old daughter died from fatal head injuries that the father allegedly tried to blame on the family cat.

Matthew and Elizabeth Sebolka were arrested in Richmond on Monday for allegedly abusing their newborn daughter Raven at home last month.

Each parent is charged with child abuse and neglect, but police have already said additional charges are pending.

Police were alerted to the case after they were called to the VCU Medical Center on July 30 following reports an infant had been brought in suffering severe injuries.

The infant had bruising on her head, a skull fracture and signs of potential suffocation, police sources told WTVR.

Officers interviewed the child’s father, who told them he left his daughter in her car seat when he went to the bathroom. He allegedly claimed the family’s cat was sitting on the baby’s neck when he came back out, according to police sources.

Matthew told police that he alerted the child’s mother and she allegedly noticed the baby had a rash and puffy eyes. She then allegedly took her daughter to the local hospital by bus.

Matthew Lee Sebolka
Elizabeth and Matthew Lee Sebolka claimed the couple’s cat sat on the baby’s neck.
Richmond City Sheriff’s Office

Raven died in the hospital Aug. 10, and the medical examiner has ruled her death a homicide.

In an online obituary for Raven, her grandparents said, “The family ask that in lieu of flowers or donations you hold your children a little longer, rock them a little more, read them another story and rejoice in each happy smile.”

The Sebolkas were both booked into the Richmond jail within hours of each other Monday night.

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