Pennsylvania woman charged with imprisoning sister in a wooden cage

Leona Biser, 51, was keeping her sister in a manmade wooden cell with only a dirty mattress in their home, Pennsylvania's attorney general said.

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By Kalhan Rosenblatt

A Pennsylvania woman has been charged with imprisoning her sister in a wooden cage, according to the state's attorney general.

Leona Biser, 51, of Vestaburg, who was charged with false imprisonment, is accused of having kept Loretta Lancaster, 53, her sister, in the cage with only a dirty mattress and little to no medical care, according to a statement from the office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Leona Biser.Pennsylvania attorney general's office

Biser was charged Jan. 15, NBC affiliate WPXI of Pittsburgh reported. She was also charged with neglect of a care dependent person, abuse of a care dependent person, recklessly endangering another person and unlawful restraint, according to the official statement.

Agents with the state's Bureau of Criminal Investigations discovered Lancaster in a manmade cell in Biser's living room, the release says.

"This defendant professed to be caring for her sister when, in fact, the home was in deplorable condition, had no running water, and the victim was not getting her prescribed medicines," Shapiro said in the statement. "We fight to protect those who cannot protect themselves. And our agents have made sure the victim has received needed care and will no longer have to suffer daily living in a cage."

Lancaster was transported to Monongahela Valley Hospital, where she was treated for a urinary tract infection and rhabdomyolysis, which is a breakdown of muscle that can be caused by infection, the release said.

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Officials said that Lancaster's condition has improved and that she has begun to regain mobility.

Biser waived her right to a preliminary hearing during a court appearance Friday, WPXI reported. It was not immediately clear whether she had an attorney.