Watch CBS News

6-year-old boy found naked in cage inside Northeast Philly home: police

Police: Boy found naked inside dog cage in Philadelphia home
Police: Boy found naked inside dog cage in Philadelphia home 02:09

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A 6-year-old boy was found naked inside a dog cage in a Northeast Philadelphia home Thursday afternoon, police say. 

Police were called just before 1 p.m. to the Mayfair home on the 4200 block of Glenview Street after a neighbor found two young sisters outside screaming.

"Sometimes you just never know what's going on behind closed doors," Eric Gripp, of the Philadelphia Police Department, said. 

Authorities caution this investigation is in its very early stages, but say what they found is described as tragic and unacceptable. 

Police say the mother of the 6-year-old left him naked with a pillow and blanket while she was out. 

"They saw two girls, ages 4 and 5, that were partially dressed outside in the rain," Gripp said. "The officers were able to pick them up and gain entry inside of the property and once they got in there, they came upon a 6-year-old boy that was locked inside a dog cage."

Police say the children's mother would often lock the little boy inside the dog cage when she left the home. 

Police say an elderly woman who uses a wheelchair, identified as a grandmother to the children, was also found inside the home,  along with a 40-year-old man – identified as an uncle. 

In total, five children were living in the home. Two of them were at school when police arrived. 

"It just boggles my mind they put their kids in cages," Hector Perez, a neighbor, said.  

Perez saw the little girls outside in the alley and immediately called 9-1-1. 

"They have pampers on, they have no shirts, they have no pants, no shoes, they're screaming, it's raining, it's cold," Perez said. 

Perez is one of several neighbors who says they've seen DHS officials in this home several times. 

"Over the past couple of years they've been here I wanna say three, four or five times," Perez said.

Perez says while he's always tried to look out for the kids, he had no idea it was this bad.

"I knew something was going on but you tell me he's putting kids in a cage? Hell no. Hell no. I can never imagine that," he added. 

The mother is being interviewed by special victims officers. 

The children were taken to St. Christopher's Hospital, but appear to be physically OK. They remain in protective custody. 

Police are still trying to identify the children's father as this investigation continues.

Boy found in cage in Philadelphia home 01:59

The parents are now facing criminal charges, police said Friday.  

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.