Sunday, April 17, 2011

Children Kept in Cage, Couple Arrested

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Alayna Higdon of Vancouver, Wash., told police she didn't want the boys running wild.

So, naturally, she remodeled a bedroom with a cage door and locked the 5-year-old and 7-year-old up.

Neither the Vancouver Columbian or the local police say whether or not the boys are her sons. Regardless, Higdon, 26, and John Eckhart, 30, stand accused of unlawful imprisonment and second-degree criminal mistreatment.

Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp tells the Columbian that an officer found the boys locked in the bedroom behind a cage-like door at the couple's apartment on April 12.

Higdon and Eckhart made an initial court appearance on April 13 where their bail was set at $25,000 each, the Columbian reports.

Kapp adds that the case has been forwarded to the Clark County prosecutor's office for review.

According to a report from KTVB in Idaho, the police report says the children could not talk.

"Higdon told police that was because they were autistic. Asked why the children were in diapers, Higdon said they didn't know how to go to the bathroom. She then told police that she didn't like their attitude and they were being insensitive," the station reports, adding that Eckhart began yelling at the officers, telling them they had no right to take the children.

" 'What am I supposed to do?' he asked police. 'Let them run around the house? What kind of (expletive) parenting is that? They are both autistic,' " KTVB reports.

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