A Wisconsin couple are in custody after police received a tip that they were keeping a 9-year-old girl captive in a chained and locked dog kennel, reports WLS.
According to the Racine County Sheriff’s Office, Dale Deavers, 48, and Gail LaLonde, 47, were taking care of the unidentified girl and her sibling in the girl’s home — and forced her to stay in the kennel which measured 4 feet 10 inches in height, 4 feet in length and 8 feet in length.
“I was sickened at what I witnessed last night,” Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling remarked. “This by far, is one of the most disturbing and heart-wrenching cases of child abuse I’ve seen, it doesn’t get much worse than this.”
According to a statement posted to Facebook (see below) by the sheriff’s office, “During the investigation, it was learned that a 9-year-old juvenile was being held in a dog kennel at night and occasionally throughout the day at her residence located in the Town of Norway. Additionally, it was learned that the dog kennel was padlocked to prevent the child from escaping.”
The couple have been charged with causing mental harm to a child, false imprisonment and several other felony charges.
The two children have been taken into protective custody.