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Richmond mother charged along with father in death of 10-day-old infant

Richmond Police investigate Southside stabbing
Posted at 11:19 PM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 23:19:19-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The wife of a 23-year-old Richmond man charged with the death of his 10-day-old daughter has been arrested.

Elizabeth Sebolka, 19, has been charged with neglect, abuse and lying to police. Matthew Sebolka was charged earlier this week with child neglect and abuse of his infant daughter.

"The Commonwealth will likely go after mom with the child abuse,” said attorney Ed Riley, who is not connected to the case. “I think it would be a really difficult task to prove some type of murder charge with respect to mom, but it depends on what the facts reveal."

Crime Insider sources say Matt Sebolka told detectives he went to the bathroom inside his apartment at 202 Grace Place. He told detectives that when he came out of the bathroom, their cat was on his daughter’s neck. Those same sources said the little girl had a cranial fracture, bruising and signs of suffocation.

Dr. Neal Rose from Broad Street veterinarian has been a vet for almost half a century. He says the likelihood of a cat cracking a cranium is extremely remote.

"No, not a domestic cat,” Rose said. "So many people that have animal cruelty problems have people problems too."

"If somebody is harming an animal, there's a good chance they're also hurting a human," John Thompson, the deputy executive director of the National Sheriff's Association, said.

Matthew Sebolka has three mistreatments of animal convictions along with an animal cruelty charge that was set aside.

Crime Insider sources confirm as part of a previous plea deal, Matthew was banned from owning animals.

"A ten-day-old child can barely move, so it's a real problem for the defense," said Riley.

Both Sebolkas are being held at the Richmond Justice Center with no bond.