Police Take Custody of Boy Left In Cage Outside Wyoming Home

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — Investigators did not have enough evidence until last month to take custody of a 7-year-old Wyoming boy who was allegedly kept in an outdoor cage, despite requests last year to check on his welfare, authorities said.

Albany County Sheriff Dave O’Malley expressed frustration Wednesday that deputies couldn’t act sooner, but the initial investigations didn’t provide enough evidence.

“It’s not easy to take custody of a child away from their parent,” O’Malley said. “When you get to the point that you’ve got the evidence so that you can do that and feel comfortable that the child is going to be in a safe environment for a period of time, that’s when you act, and that’s what we did.”

Sheriff’s deputies took the boy into protective custody July 24 after finding the 6-by-6-foot cage made of wood and metal outside a rural house west of Laramie. O’Malley said he was told the boy is doing well now.

The boy’s mother and her boyfriend were arrested on child-abuse charges. The man was scheduled to appear in court Thursday. The woman’s next hearing has not been scheduled.

The Associated Press typically does not identify abuse victims and is withholding the suspects’ names to avoid identifying the child.

A court document said the sheriff’s department received a child abuse report about the boy in August and seven requests to check on his welfare starting in October.

“Up until July 24 of this year, none of those investigations were sustained at a level that (was) appropriate for us to take any type of action,” O’Malley said.

Deputies said the child reported living in the 5-foot-high enclosure off and on for three weeks. He said meals were brought to the cage and that he slept there overnight even when it rained.

Inside the cage, deputies discovered a cot, clothing, books, a toothbrush, toothpaste and a five-gallon bucket, according to court documents. A metal chain and “dog-leash-style latch” allegedly were used to keep the child locked in the enclosure.

(Copyright 2014, The Associated Press, All rights reserved.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s