GBI: 'No justification' for caged kids with special needs

2 arrested after child found locked in cage

 

MURRAY COUNTY, Ga. -- Two people have been arrested after police found a child with special needs in a makeshift cage in a north Georgia County.

Ninety miles north of Atlanta in Murray County, the sheriff's office made the horrific discovery when they went to a home for a welfare check.

Thursday at 11 a.m., Murray County deputies responded to a 911 call reporting a child had been left alone. The deputy was met at the door by a girl and an adult female. Since the deputy saw there was adult supervision, he left.

Later that day, the same personal called 911 asking for help again. This time, the deputy went inside and found an 11-year-old boy with special needs in a makeshift cage. Another child, an 8-year-old girl, was also found at the home.

The child's mother, Stephanie Stone and Wanda Sue Redfern have been charged with false imprisonment and cruelty to children.  Stone was also charged with possession of methamphetamine.

Law enforcement confirms that the Division of Family and Children Services "had been involved with this family". 

A second cage was found inside the home. Authorities believe the girl was kept in that cage.

GBI Special Agent Greg Ramey said the boy could not have gotten out of the cage by himself, he describes the cage as, "twin bunk beds that were of metal construction and there was bars that he could not get out of. And they used zip ties and other pieces of metal to insure that these two pieces of beds stayed together, but there were toys and debris and clothing in there."

The makeshift cage was two feet by two feet while the boy was over 4 feet tall.

"There was no place for him to lay comfortably," Ramey said. 

 

The girl's cage was slightly different.

"Hers was wood construction with some solid pieces of particle board covering some areas that a person could have got out. And, it was tied with zip-ties, so child couldn't out of the bars," he said. "I've been in law enforcement 30 years for the GBI. I've never seen anything like this. Never. These are ones that you hear about somewhere else."

The Murray County Sheriff's Office, GBI, and the Conasauga District Attorney's office are involved in the investigation.  

Bond for the mother, Stone, has been set at $27,500. Redfern is being held on 25,000 bond.

Both women cried while in court.

11Alive has since learned that an investigation by DFCS of the family had been closed in May.

The children were taken to the hospital and then to DFCS where they were placed with "some other family folks".

11Alive reporter Donna Lowry is on her way to the scene. Follow her on Twitter @donna11alive.

 


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