An Indiana toddler was found locked inside a plywood box for extended periods of time. Nine people have been charged and five of them were identified as teenagers.
Fox 8 reported the discovery was made at a home in North Judson, Indiana. The toddler was a three-year-old girl. Reports of child abuse reached the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office so authorities searched the property on Dec. 14. The plywood box was found in the living room of the home.
The charges were as follows: Neglect of a dependent and failure to report child abuse. Those who were charged with neglect of a dependent were identified as 18-year-old Patricia Meeks, 25-year-old Christopher Short, and 42-year-old Donna Short. As for those who were charged with failure to report child abuse, they were identified as 18-year-olds Shawn Griffin and Timothy Senesac, 19-year-olds Michael Meeks and Anna Senesac, 36-year-old Derrick Butala, and 38-year-old Thelma Meeks.
The three-year-old toddler and the five juveniles, who are among those charged, have been released to the custody of the Pulaski County Indiana Department of Child Services. The relationship of the toddler to those charged has not been cleared out.
The grandfather of the child, Frank Jackson, said in a statement that he is devastated with what he discovered regarding the toddler. He noted that if the people taking care of the children, including the teens charged, do not want them under their care, he could take them all.
According to reports, Jackson has been working to gain custody of his two grandchildren after his daughter died in 2014. The three-year-old toddler has an older brother, who is a seven-year-old, ABC 11 reported.
Pulaski County Sheriff Jeffery Richwine said in a statement that although this latest case is heartbreaking, it is a common scene for them. He also believed that the policy of the Child Protective Services to bring families back together is not a great one as the environment is not the best for children.
Meanwhile, the investigation is ongoing. Details about the health status of the child have not been released yet.
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