Three people have been charged with child abuse after police in Alabama found a 13-year-old boy naked and chained in his family’s home.
The incident took place in Prattville, where police said the boy was discovered after someone made an anonymous call suspecting abuse. As the Associated Press reported on WTOP’s website, deputies from the Autauga County Sheriff’s Department found that the boy was naked and had chains padlocked around his ankles. They believe that the boy had been in the chains for several hours.
“After arrival of deputies a 13-year-old male juvenile was found naked with chains padlocked around his ankles which were attached to a door preventing him from normal movement,” Autauga County Sheriff Joe Sedinger told the Montgomery Advertiser. “Subsequent investigation revealed that the child had been restrained by this method over a long period of time.”
Sheriff Joe Sedinger said the teen was able to talk to deputies and appeared “fun-loving and sweet,” hinting that the abuse may not have been long-standing but instead was a punishment, and there was no indication that he suffered any injuries. But he said the level of abuse was disturbing.
“I mean, we’ve never had anything like this in Autauga County,” he told the Montgomery Advertiser. “We’ve had child abuse cases, physical abuse cases that were bad. But nothing like this where a child was left chained up for an extended period of time.”
Police in Alabama arrested the 13-year-old boy’s mother, stepfather, and grandmother on charges of torture and willful abuse of a person under the age of 18. The sheriff’s office said those arrested were 32-year-old Danielle N. Martin, 26-year-old Joshua D. Martin, and 58-year-old Vickie S. Higginbotham.
They also praised the anonymous caller for alerting police when they suspected the abuse of the boy.
“It’s our understanding that these children are home-schooled, so they likely didn’t have the contact outside the home that other children would have,” Sheriff Joe Sedinger said. “So it made it more difficult for a situation like this to be found out.
Sheriff: Boy found naked, chained in Alabama home; 3 chargedhttps://t.co/XWnmMvPl5o— WKRN (@WKRN) September 22, 2018
Two other children in the home with the boy have been placed with the Department of Human Resources, the Associated Press report added. Police said they are continuing the investigation to see if there are any other times the 13-year-old may have been chained up as a form of punishment, but it was not clear if any of the adults arrested could face additional charges.