Deputies: Autistic girl, 10, locked in cage inside Tenn. home


JONESBOROUGH, TN (WJHL) – The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a case of child abuse and neglect after deputies say they were asked to check on an autistic girl inside a Jonesborough home.

Sheriff Ed Graybeal says deputies made the welfare check at a home located on Miller Crossing Road around 5:00 p.m. on Monday.

Deputies said they met the homeowners — Mickey Sparks, age 69, and Patricia Laws, age 43. Deputies told the man and woman they had received information that a child was kept in a cage at the home.

Deputies report, when they entered the bedroom of the home they found a locked wooden cage on a mattress and an autistic girl, age 10, inside it. Deputies reported the cage smelled of urine and feces.

Deputies say three other children also lived in the home.

According to the sheriff’s office, the Department of Children’s Services responded and removed the children from the home.

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