Parents Arrested After 3-Year-Old Found Locked Inside a Cage Filled With Bugs

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Two Ohio parents were arrested on Monday by police officers after their children were found in horrific conditions. According to authorities, the detectives were serving a search warrant in relation to a sexual assault investigation. A woman had claimed that she was sexually assaulted and robbed by Varney and Smith at her home. 

“[Law enforcement] located a three-year-old child locked inside a cage, which was secured with zip ties,” the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office stated. “The cage that the infant was in was filled with bugs, soiled bedding, and a cup full of spoiled milk.”

The cage was made of a pack-n-play secured with several zip ties. “The bedclothes were soiled, and we were actually trying to get a sippy cup for him. It had green spoiled milk in it, and there were bugs. I care not to guess what they were inside,” Chief Deputy Caleb Moritz stated. 

Toddler Found Locked Inside a Cage

Authorities stated a two-year-old toddler was also found walking around the home holding a methamphetamine pipe. “We saw a little girl running around with a silver object, and we took it out of her hands and we found a well-used methamphetamine pipe,” Moritz stated.

38-year-old Franklin “TJ” Varney and 25-year-old Megan Smith initially “fled the residence” due to their involvement in the sexual assault investigation. They were quickly arrested after a foot chase through the woods.

The Ohio parents were charged with endangering children. 61-year-old Ella Webb, the grandmother of the children, was also arrested on child endangerment charges, which is a third-degree felony. She originally had custody of the children. After the arrest, the children were taken into emergency custody and placed into the foster care system by social services.  

“The grandmother was entrusted with custody of the children because Mr. Varney couldn’t take care of himself,” Morittz revealed. “They all proved in that house last night that nobody is able to take care of those children the way they should be taken care of.”

“The kids are the true victims of this,” he continued.

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