On Monday, a Wisconsin couple was charged with nine felony counts after they were found allegedly keeping five children, four adopted and one biological child of their own, in cages.
Travis Lanier Headrick, 46, and Amy Michelle Headrick, 39, were charged with reckless endangerment, child neglect and false imprisonment after they were arrested last Friday. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant after they received a photo of a small boy held in a horse trough with a metal fencing cover tied with zip ties. A babysitter reportedly took the photo and shared it with her mother; her mother sent the photo to police.
The criminal complaint said police found a 10-year-old boy in the horse trough, an 11-year-old boy locked in a double-stacked cage and a 12-year-old girl in a room whose only exit was a hallway.
The Lacrosse Tribune reported, “A criminal complaint filed Monday says the two children relieved themselves in the cages and remained inside for extended periods with their own urine and feces.”
The couple told police the reason the children were caged was to discipline them and keep them safe; Amy Headrick informed police, "I don't consider it a cage. It's more of a glorified crib." Travis Headrick referred to the children as cognitively disabled; he asserted to police, "You don't understand what you're saying. Unfortunately you don't understand their cognitive behavior and the danger they put themselves in."