Five individuals were arrested by the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office after a malnourished woman with autism was found living in a cage in the backyard of a house.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a complaint at a home on Rushing Lane where they eventually found a 22 year-old woman who was being forced to live inside of a cage, outside, in the backyard of the property, according to reports.
When deputies searched the home, they say they found the young woman wandering around the backyard.
Deputies said she was forced to live in a makeshift shelter – a blue tarp draped over a cage that somewhat resembled a dog kennel.
She was often locked in the cage at night to keep her from wandering off from the property, according to law enforcement.
The woman appeared to be malnourished and had numerous insect bites on her body. There was also a five-gallon bucket in the cage where she was forced to defecate, authorities said. All of her personal belongings were in the cage as well.
The woman and four juveniles were removed from the Amite home and handed over to the Louisiana Department of Health and the Department of Child and Family Services.
Meanwhile, these are the five individuals who were arrested for human trafficking and cruelty to the infirmed:
- Raylaine Knope, 40
- Bridget Lambert, 19
- Taylor Knope, 18
- Jody Lambert, 21
- Terry Knope, 43
The Sheriff’s Office said that the investigation is ongoing and the suspects in custody could be charged with more crimes.