A Florida woman was arrested for allegedly keeping an autistic child under her care locked inside a wood and metal cage, a report said.
Melissa Doss, 43, was busted Sunday after police and a Florida Department of Children and Families worker discovered the homemade enclosure inside the bedroom of her Palm Bay home, the Orlando Sentinel reported, citing authorities.
Police found a pillow and a blanket inside the cage — and Doss told them she kept the autistic girl inside it every night for her safety and to prevent her from running away.
The shocking discovery was made a day after police found the little girl wandering in the yard of a neighboring home.
The girl was able to lead the officers back to the house. Once there, Doss refused to let police inside and told the them the girl escaped from the house without her knowing.
When authorities returned the next day, Doss eventually let them in.
Police said Doss also lived in squalor, with garbage covering the floors and bugs infesting the property.
Doss was charged with three counts of child neglect without bodily harm and aggravated child abuse as aggravated assault, the report said.