4-year-old boy found locked in meth house closet told deputies that rats and roaches were his ‘friends’
Little boy scared in the dark (Shutterstock)

A 4-year-old Texas boy found locked in a closet had meth in his system and told police he befriended vermin that would visit him.


Deputies said the child was forced to spend most of his days confined to the closet in a Harris County house where he was exposed to drugs and witnessed unspeakable things, reported KTRK-TV.

Investigators executed a search warrant Dec. 20 at the West Memorial home, where deputies believed someone was making and selling methamphetamine, and they found the boy locked inside a closet -- not far from drug paraphernalia and pornography.

"The detail on this case is very awful," said Rachel Leal-Hudson, who is representing the boy during custody hearings. "This is a 4-year-old child who has seen things an adult should not have seen."

A judge granted temporary custody Tuesday of the boy to Child Protective Services.

Authorities aren't sure how long the boy lived at the home, but he told deputies he was locked for hours at a time in the closet and "his friends" were the rats and roaches that he believed visited him.

"He can articulate some things that are really shocking and surprising that tell us he was in there for a quite a length of time," Leal-Hudson said.

The boy told deputies he was forced to sit on top of a tall refrigerator as punishment for sneaking out of the closet.

His mother April Burrier was not home during the raid, but she was later arrested and charged with endangering a child.

She told deputies that someone else was supposed to be watching the boy, but authorities said Burrier was too intoxicated to help them locate that person.

The boy's father, Robert Dehart, has asked the court to regain custody of his son, whom he says he left with Burrier just after Thanksgiving, but said he was unaware of the conditions the child endured.

Dehart has a lengthy history of drug convictions and prior contact with CPS case workers, according to the TV station, and authorities said he has previously refused to take drug tests.

The custody case will head back to a courtroom next month after Dehart takes a court-ordered drug test.

Investigators are still seeking Daniel Clark Morris III, who they believe had been making and selling meth out of the home.