Pennsylvania Parents of Baby Mauled by Ferrets Due in Court on Endangerment Charges

A Pennsylvania couple charged with neglect after the family's pet ferrets severely mauled their 1-month-old girl is set to appear in court for a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Burnie Fraim, 42, and Jessica Benales, 24, are set to appeared before a Commonwealth District Court judge in Sharon Hill around 10 a.m.

Wednesday's preliminary hearing comes after an earlier hearing was delayed so the couple could undergo psychiatric evaluations, which they were ordered to do as a condition of their bail.

Prosecutors charged each of the Delaware County parents with five counts of endangering the welfare of children earlier this year after their newborn, Skyy Fraim, had her nose and cheek eaten away and upper lip shredded by as many as three ferrets. The baby was strapped into a car seat that was sitting on the floor of the family's Darby home.

Fraim was upstairs sleeping and Benales was in the restroom at the time of the attack, police and the family told NBC10. Fraim said they believed the animals broke out of a mesh pen where they were being kept.

The baby underwent emergency surgery where stents had to be placed in her nose for breathing, police said. She was released from the hospital late last week and placed into foster care along with four of her siblings. Officials say she will most likely have to undergo more plastic surgeries however.

All five children and both parents have special needs and were in the care of three social service agencies at the time of the mauling, authorities told NBC10. Seven case workers were assigned to the family.

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