Couple charged after autistic girl, 10, locked in cage surrounded by filth


Police have arrested a couple after a 10-year-old girl with autism was discovered locked in a cage at their home.

Charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect, Mickey Sparks, 69, and his girlfriend, Patricia Laws, 43, defended the cage saying welfare services had approved its use.

Law told officers that they used the cage to help manage the girl’s behaviour.

While the girl did not seem to be in distress when police found her, they reported that the cage smelled of urine and feces and had nothing inside except an old mattress

The Department of Children’s Services responded to the police and arrived, taking four children – including the autistic girl – away from the home.


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