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Two people were arrested on child cruelty charges after an 8-year-old girl and 11-year-old boy — siblings with special needs — were discovered living in a Georgia home in makeshift cages, authorities said Friday.
The disturbing conditions were found Thursday during one of two welfare checks at the home in the rural town of Chatsworth, the Murray County Sheriff’s Office said at a news conference. Police had received a tip about a child being in the home alone.
A woman — later identified as Wanda Redfern, 49 — answered the door along with the young girl, allowing a deputy inside, investigators said. During a search, he found two “cages” placed in a bedroom. The cages were beds — one with wooden rails covering it and a second with hinges and plastic zip ties.
A boy was found living inside the second cage, said Greg Ramey, a special agent in charge at the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. He added that both children appeared in relatively good condition, but were taken into custody by the state Department of Family and Children's Services for medical attention.
Authorities believe the children were being kept inside the cages since at least June. State welfare investigators had previously opened a case involving the family, but closed it that same month, Ramey said.
The mother of the siblings was identified as Stephanie Stone, 34, and she was later arrested. Redfern was also taken into custody. The women were charged with cruelty to children and false imprisonment.
Investigators are also looking into a third person who may be connected with the case. No bond was immediately set for the women.