TOWN OF NORWAY, Wis. — A grandmother and a man are accused of keeping her 9-year-old granddaughter padlocked inside a wire dog kennel in a house in southeastern Wisconsin.
Racine County sheriff's deputies and social workers investigated the home near Wind Lake after a teacher made a child abuse complaint Wednesday. The 46-year-old grandmother and the male homeowner, aged 48, are in custody on possible charges of false imprisonment and other counts, according to Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling.
"I have not seen anything like this in my 23 years of law enforcement experience," Schmaling said. "I've seen people do horrific things to other human beings, but I've never seen anyone treat a child like an animal."
Schmaling said the child was locked in the wire kennel every night and let out again at 7 a.m. The cage is about 4 feet, 10 inches high, 4 feet long and 8 feet wide (1.45 metres high, 1.20 metres long and 2.40 metres wide).
"This kid was forced to go into this cage and I just can't imagine putting a child in a cage like that," Schmaling said. There was cardboard on the floor, a few blankets, but no pillow, officials said.
Racine County Human Services removed the victim and a sibling from the residence and placed them in protective custody.
"Both are sleeping in warm beds tonight," Schmaling said. "In false imprisonment contrast, the two defendants are locked up in our jail where they belong."
Schmaling says the grandmother was apparently their caregiver and that deputies were trying to find the biological parents.
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