A Florida woman was arrested after allegedly keeping a child with severe autism in a cage. Neighbors alerted 911 that a child had jumped over a fence and was in her screened-in yard
Florida woman kept autistic child in cage
Melissa Doss, 42, faces charges of aggravated child abuse and child neglect.
Over the weekend, her neighbors called 911 to report that a child had jumped the fence and was in her screened-in yard. Police said the child was non-verbal and had a disability.
Doss informed police that he did not know the child had run away from his home. It was also discovered that the child was sleeping in a “homemade cage made of metal and wood” in Doss’ home.
Doss told police that he locked the child inside the cage at night to keep him inside the house. The findings indicate that, in the morning, the child would scream until Doss let him out of the cage.
The child protection investigator said Doss and another child shared a bed. The cage was next door, with a blanket and pillow for the child.
It is alleged that “the immediate odor of feces and urine was very present” and that there was trash and “insects of all kinds,” including spiders and flies, throughout the house, and that no part of the floor was visible throughout the house.
In addition, parts of the roof were missing, there was mold throughout the house, and there were no working toilets.
Palm Bay police said Doss told them he “used the toilet in a bucket” and threw garbage in the backyard. He appeared before a judge Monday. His bail was set at more than $20,000.