The authorities said that they have a 3-year-old girl in Indiana to sleep in a wooden box.
A phone call from an Indiana state prison inmate questions about a small girl as is possible in a plywood box led authorities to a home in North Judson where they have the 3-year-old curled up to sleep in a 24-by-24-inch box, early Wednesday morning, the sheriff said FoxNews.com.
The revelation led to nine arrests—including the girl’s father and his wife, authorities said. The box was in the living room of the family.
The child was not identified, but she was found in a plywood box in the living room of the family.
“It is one of those offers, you go there and think, ‘Hopefully, this is not true,” Jeff Richwine, Pulaski County sheriff, told reporters. “No one goes to a little girl in a box, that is just not going to happen … You think ‘my God, who would do that?”
Christopher Short, 25, the father of the girl, and his wife, Donna, 42, were accused of neglect of a dependent. In court documents, both declared that the girl would go into the box of her own accord.
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The box smelled of urine and had dead insects on the floor, authorities said.
Richwine said evidence collected at the scene and interviews with other children in the home does not appear to support their claim. He said that researchers found rope and a “metal eye” on the top of the box, which indicated that it might be locked.
The child was allegedly kept in the box during the evening for extended periods of time.
The first tip came from Donna’s ex-husband, a prisoner in the state prison, Richwine said. If all calls from the jail in the state, the conversation was recorded by the authorities. The inmate was later interviewed by detectives, which led officers to the house to visit, Richwine said.
Just after midnight last Wednesday, authorities executed a no-knock search warrant and found the girl curled up in the box with the lid down, Richwine said. She was sleeping, appeared non-verbal, but not otherwise physically damaged, he said.
The conditions were terrible – the box smelled of urine, and there were dead insects in the corners.
“No one spoke about a little girl in a box,” Richwine told reporters. “Even if we were there and started with people, no one spoke and said: ‘Hey, there’s a little girl here in a box.'”
Frank Jackson, the girl’s maternal grandfather told WNDU.com that Short barely let him see his grandchildren after his daughter died a few years ago.
“I’ve seen people treat their animals better. It is like a nightmare and I wish that I wake up,” Jackson said.
Deputies said in a statement that five little ones were located inside the residence and are approved for Pulaski County Indiana Department of child services.
Jackson wondered, “What kind of health problems are my grandchildren later in the future as a result of this? It can affect them for life.”
Edmund Initiative is a news editor for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @EDeMarche.