MAYSVILLE, MO (KCTV) — Two women in a small northwest Missouri town are charged with child abuse, accused of keeping a 9-year-old with autism locked up and in deplorable conditions.
DeKalb County deputies said the home in Maysville is littered with trash and the floors covered with feces and urine. The Department of Social Services came to the home to do an assessment of the living conditions after getting a tip that the child was locked inside for hours at a time.
From the outside the home doesn’t look run down, but deputies said there shouldn’t be anyone living inside.
“One of the deputies that responded there described to me that it was one of the most disgusting residences he’s ever been into,” Deputy Chief Kasey Keesman told KCTV5 News. “From what I saw, it was just a very dirty and unsanitary and unsafe environment for anyone, a human being to live in.”
Debra and Katrina England are each charged with child abuse and endangerment. Deputies said that inside the home there was a bunk bed that was boarded up and used as a cage for the child, who was a family member of the couple’s.
Both women were released on bond. No one answered to knocks at their door, but Debra England approached KCTV5 News while crews were shooting video of the home, trying to stand in front of the camera to block the view of her house.
When asked about the charges, Debra England said, “they’re not true, that’s all I’m saying.” She also said that the statement issued by the sheriff’s office stating that she had confessed to locking the child in the bedroom was not true.
There are concerns as to why it took someone so long to notice the alleged issues at the home.
“This is one that I’ve scratched my head on. I don’t know how anyone could live that way or treat another individual that way, especially a child,” Keesman said. “I just don’t have a good answer on why it would take that long. I have no idea.”
The house is very close to a school, and the district’s buses are stored next door to the home. KCTV5 News tried to confirm which school the child went to, but with some schools in the area not having classes Thursday due to weather, those calls weren’t returned.