Deputies: Autistic child locked in cage inside Tennessee home

L: Mickey Sparks, R: Patricia Laws (Photo: Washington County Sheriff's Department/WJHL)


JONESBOROUGH, TN (WJHL) – Two adults were arrested after deputies were asked to check on a child with autism at a Washington County home.

Sheriff Ed Graybeal says deputies made the welfare check at a home located on Miller Crossing Road in Jonesborough around 5:00 p.m. on Monday.

Mickey Sparks, age 69, and Patricia Laws, age 43 were told by deputies that there were reports of a child being kept in a cage at the home. When deputies entered a bedroom they found a locked wooden cage on a mattress and a 10-year-old child inside. The cage smelled of urine and feces, according to the report.

Also, investigators found three other children inside the home. The children are now in the custody of the Department of Children’s Services.

The suspects face charges for aggravated child abuse and neglect. They are being held at the Washington County Detention Center each on a $50,000 bond.

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