Florida woman arrested for keeping autistic child locked in cage

Florida woman arrested for keeping autistic child locked in cage
Woman’s house was filled with garbage and bugs and had no working toilets

A woman in Florida was arrested after police discovered she had been keeping her autistic child in a locked wooden and metal cage.

Melissa Doss, 43, was arrested on Sunday after her law enforcement officials found the cage inside the bedroom of her home in Palm Bay, Florida.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that police found a pillow and blanket inside the cage. Ms Doss told the police that she kept her autistic daughter in the cage to prevent her from running away or hurting herself in the night.

A day before the arrest, the girl escaped and was wandering around the yard of a neighbour. Police found the girl, who they reported could not speak and suffered from a disability. Once they made contact with the girl, she led them back to Ms Doss’s home.

Aanvanklik, Ms Doss refused to let the police enter her home. After police knocked several times, Ms Doss exited the house from another door and climbed a fence to talk to them outside. She said she was unaware that the girl had escaped, and told officers she would not let them in because if she did, they would call the Florida Department of Children and Families.

The police called the FDCF anyway.

When they returned the next day, Ms Doss again denied them entry, but eventually allowed the police to enter.

According to the incident report, police found the house was filled with garbage and had been infested with spiders, fleas and other bugs. According to the report, officers could not see any part of the floor due to the buildup of trash.

In addition to the squalor, parts of the ceiling were collapsing or missing, and there were no working bathrooms in the home, resulting in a persistent smell of urine and faeces throughout the residence.

According to police, the cage the girl was being kept in was large enough to fit a twin size bed.

Ms Doss was charged with three counts of child neglect without bodily harm as well as aggravated child abuse as aggravated assault, according to the police report.

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