Family shares disturbing details of Arkansas boy’s death, discovery under house

Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 10:46 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 19, 2022 at 10:53 PM CST
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MORO, Ark. (WMC) - An Arkansas mother and her boyfriend are behind bars tonight after a five-year-old boy’s body was discovered in his home.

His six-year-old sister is being treated for several injuries in Memphis.

This all happened in Moro, Arkansas, in Lee County just over an hour west of Memphis.

The paternal grandmother of five-year-old Blu Rolland and six-year-old Taylor Rolland told Action News 5 her granddaughter is recovering from multiple injuries including multiple broken ribs, burns and more.

She also says her grandson was found in a wooden box. He would’ve turned six years old just a couple of days ago.

“You’re living right here and it’s right under your nose and you don’t see anything out of the ordinary,” said neighbor Glenda Farrell.

Farrell lives just feet away from the home in Moro, Arkansas.

Farrell says the children and their mother moved in as recently as early this summer.

Blu’s older sister, six-year-old Taylor was taken from the home by her paternal grandmother, Karen Rolland, before the gruesome discovery that same day.

Rolland did not want to go on camera but told us she had been fighting for visitation rights for months.

“I heard Taylor whimpering,” said Karen Rolland. “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.”

Karen Rolland’s son was previously married to Taylor and Blu’s mother, Ashley Rolland.

Ashley Rolland
Ashley Rolland(St. Francis County Sheriff's Office)

Rolland says just a few months ago, she was allowed to see the children. She says those visits ended after the children’s mother’s boyfriend, Nathan Bridges allegedly pulled a gun on her son, the children’s father.

Rolland says they were advised by a lawyer not to go to the home after the incident.

Through a court order, Rolland was able to get her visitation rights back. She says she went to Bridges’ home on Dec. 16 and found Taylor with serious injuries but no sign of her grandson.

“She had puncture wounds like scissors had poked through her head,” said Rolland. “It looked like she been strangled around the neck, bite marks on her legs, several fractured ribs we found out... and an old injury to her leg that had been fractured before that didn’t grow back correctly.”

Rolland says her granddaughter also told her that her mother’s boyfriend, Nathan Bridges, threw boiling water on her.

Rolland says the children’s mother told them Taylor had a rash. She also says because of how thin her granddaughter was, she originally thought she was her five-year-old grandson.

Rolland says she was told Blu was with family and friends.

Rolland says she rushed the girl to the hospital with several injuries including second and third-degree burns on her arms, chest, and feet.

“I thought it was horrific,” said Farrell. “I mean who does that? I have no words. It’s just devastating.”

Rolland says doctors also discovered Taylor was malnourished and weighed just 36 pounds.

More family members went to the home in Moro that day and confronted the mother and her boyfriend who Rolland says eventually confessed.

The two reportedly called Blu’s death an “accident.”

Authorities found little Blu’s body later that night.

Little Taylor is still recovering at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis.

Ashley Rolland is charged with capital murder, abuse of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence, endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree, accomplice to capital murder, first-degree battery, and permitting child abuse.

Arkansas State Police are leading this investigation.

Rolland also says she reported her grandchildren’s mother several times to DHS and others, but to her knowledge, nothing was done.

A GoFundMe has been set up to pay for little Blu’s funeral expenses and more. You can also contact First National Bank and request to donate for ”Taylor’s care and Blu’s burial.”

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