On Thursday, authorities conducted an animal-cruelty investigation and discovered a young toddler who was placed inside a filthy cage in horrible conditions.
A boy in a cage
The boy, 18 months old, was stuffed inside a small dog cage covered in feces, urine, insects, and was crawling with more than 600 different types of animals such as snakes, rats, roosters, and many others.
According to NY Daily News, Deputies at the Henry County Sheriff's Office took the boy's mother into custody along with two other family members involved in the crime. They charged them for the heinous acts on the child.
The young boy was found in the family's mobile home in Paris, a community located nearly 100 miles west of Nashville.
The officials also rescued multiple animals that were living in vile conditions and were not adequately cared for. They also discovered and got hold of 127 marijuana plants and 17 firearms from the home.
In a press conference on Friday morning, Sheriff Monte Belew told news outlets that when he and his team stepped foot into the family's property, they immediately knew that something was not right. He also noted they had to make their way around debris and other creatures to reach the front door.
Belew said when they looked inside the home through the front door, they saw the child living inside a dog cage. The sheriff also stated the conditions of the cage suggested the child has been living inside for quite some time.
Authorities revealed they found three buckets that were filled with hundreds of mice placed beside the cage. They also found a 10-foot long boa constrictor right next to the child's living quarters, as reported by News Channel 5. The officers found a total of eight snakes slithering across the room.
A shocking investigation
The sheriff noted that he had never seen anything like the condition of the young boy along his lengthy law enforcement experience.
Belew said they also found around 20 dogs running around the home with their feces scattered across the floor. He also noted that some parts of the floor were missing and described the kitchen as being unlivable.
Officers found thousands of maggots and cockroaches crawling around the mobile home. The family was living in a very rural part of the county, which was along a road that was not used often. Belew stated the family wanted to live their own lifestyle but told them there was a standard of living they needed to meet.
The Animal Rescue Corps came in and took custody of the animals to treat them and care for them, but some of which were already deceased.
The three suspects were identified to be T.J. Brown, 46 years old, Heather Scarbrough, 42 years old, and Charles Brown, 82 years old. Authorities charged the three suspects with aggravated child abuse and animal cruelty, possession of a firearm, and possession of drugs.
Each one of the family members was locked up inside the Henry County Jail with a $300,000 bond. They are set to appear in court on June 30.
According to The Sun UK, the Department of Child Services had taken custody of the child after the investigation.