Deputies: Autistic child locked in cage inside Tennessee home

Mickey Sparks, age 69, and Patricia Laws, age 43. (Source: Washington County Sheriff's Office)
Mickey Sparks, age 69, and Patricia Laws, age 43. (Source: Washington County Sheriff's Office)

JONESBOROUGH, TN (WJHL) – The Washington County, TN Sheriff’s Office is investigating a case of child abuse and neglect after deputies say they were asked to check on an autistic child inside a Jonesborough home.

Sheriff Ed Graybeal says deputies made the welfare check at a home located on Miller Crossing Road around 5:00 p.m. on Monday.

Deputies said they met the homeowners — Mickey Sparks, age 69, and Patricia Laws, age 43. Deputies told the man and woman they had received information that a child was kept in a cage at the home.

Deputies report, when they entered the bedroom of the home they found a locked wooden cage on a mattress and a child inside. Deputies reported the cage smelled of urine and feces.

Deputies also stated they discovered the child was 10 years old and autistic. In addition, deputies say three other children lived in the home.

The Department of Children’s Services responded and removed the children from the home.

Sparks and Laws were both arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse and neglect.

Both are currently behind bars at the Washington County Detention Center on a bond of $50,000 each.

An arraignment hearing is set for Tuesday in the Washington County General Sessions Court.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s