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Nevada Couple Arrested After 11-Year-Old Autistic Son Found Locked in Metal Enclosure, Wearing Diaper: Police

Autistic Boy Found Locked in Cage, Wearing Diaper: Police
Source: Henderson Police Department

Jeffrey and Misty Scanlan were arrested after their 11-year-old son was found locked in a metal cage wearing only underwear, police said.

Apr. 27 2024, Published 2:06 p.m. ET

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A Nevada couple was arrested after their 11-year-old autistic son was found locked in a metal cage covered in feces, police said in a statement.

The Henderson Police Department said the Clark County School District Police Department contacted them on April 23 for assistance with a truancy issue involving a student who hadn't been coming to school for about a week.

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When officers arrived at the student's residence at around 10:15 a.m. to check on his wellbeing, they discovered he was "contained within a large metal enclosure and the residence was found to have inhospitable living conditions."

Misty Scanlan, 46, and Jeffery Scanlan, 41, were arrested and were each charged with one felony count of child abuse or neglect.

According to an arrest report, a truancy officer first visited the home to check on the student's welfare, and although no one answered the door, they reported hearing a child screaming and a gate rattling inside the home.

When Henderson officers followed up, Jeffrey Scanlan answered the door and allowed officers inside. There, they found a "large enclosure in the living room with metal bars and locked doors, similar to a jail cell."

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The boy was inside the cell, "wearing only a diaper, and the enclosure had feces on the floor and wall."

Officers called in detectives from Henderson's Special Victims Unit, and they obtained a search warrant for the home. Further investigation revealed a bedroom with no furniture and holes in the wall, filled with trash and feces, and "an exterior lock with no way to defeat it from inside the room."

Child neglect

Scanlan allegedly told investigators that one of his children has "severe autism spectrum disorder" and that the cage was used as a "semi-punitive measure when his behavior is out of control."

Scanlan allegedly admitted the school had provided referrals to specialists, but he did not pursue it further due to "not wanting strangers in his house."

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Misty Scanlan allegedly told officers that their children were last seen by a pediatrician in January, and that she and her children normally clean the house regularly but "they had been extremely busy and the cleaning fell on the back burner."

According to the police report, one child was evaluated at a hospital, and three other children were removed by Child Protective Services and placed with relatives.

Police said the investigation is ongoing. The police department is asking anyone with information to come forward or submit an anonymous tip.

TMX contributed to this report.


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