A Virginia mother faces charges of abuse and neglect after police say she kept her young children in makeshift cages and filthy conditions. Linda So reports.
A partially boarded up door, broken windows, and an unkept yard. Signs that something wasn't right at this home in Virginia's small Eastern Shore town of Mears. Police say what they found inside was appalling. A two and three-year-old child confined in makeshift cages made out of cribs. Three other young children living in filth with trash, rotting food and fleas. Their mother 38-year-old Malista Ness-Hopkins now facing charges of abuse and neglect. A county social worker discovered the young children ages one to six after receiving a complaint in July. The social worker says the 2-year-old who was confined in the crib hissed at her and made animal noises. Police say the woman told investigators that her boyfriend, who was the father of some of the children, died last year and she was quote "overwhelmed." She said she kept them confined because she was having a hard time watching them. A judge has sent the case to a grand jury and has ordered the mother to seek a mental health evaluation. She's free on $10,000 bond.