Disturbing new details about the living conditions of a toddler who was found living in a cage with snakes and hundreds of mice emerged in a US court last week.
Heather Scarbrough, 42, T.J. Brown, 46, and Charles Brown, 82, have been charged with aggravated child abuse, aggravated cruelty to animals and other counts.
Scarborough and T.J Brown are the one-year-old’s parents, while the elder Brown is the boy’s grandfather, according to local publication WKRN.
Charles Brown owns the property where the toddler was found living in a cage in a filthy mobile home in June, investigators said.
The 18-month-old was found in a 4-by-4 dog kennel in the living room, which also had eight snakes -including a 10-foot boa constrictor - and buckets filled with hundreds of mice, Henry County police said at the time.
Authorities went to the home after receiving an anonymous tip about possible animal cruelty, officers said.
The prosecution told the court this week the trailer smelled like ammonia, faeces and urine and had dozens of cockroaches inside the child’s kennel, according to the publication.
The defence claimed the kennel was a makeshift playpen, according to WKRN.
“When I put a child in a playpen, there’s not eight snakes, hundreds of rats and hamsters and mice up against the cage, there’s no cockroaches in the cage, there’s not urine-soaked clothes in the cage, I mean, there’s a big difference,” the investigator said from the stand, the publication reported.
The defence said the toddler was only suffering from a rash at the time he was found by officers earlier this year.
A witness with the Department of Child Services told the court the boy’s hair had tested positive for THC, which is found in marijuana.
Charles Brown, who is out on bond, is set to be arraigned on November 9 after waiving his preliminary hearing.
- with AP
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