Police: Couple kept child in cage
DUSHORE – A Sullivan County couple faces felony charges after allegedly keeping a 12-year-old girl diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy locked inside a small closet and in what police have called a “make-shift cage.”
Mary Beth Frankenfield, 49, of Dushore, has been charged with one first-degree felony count of falsely imprisoning a child. Richard T. Frankenfield, 55, also of Dushore, has been charged with one second-degree felony count for endangering the welfare of a child.
Charges come following an investigation during which police discovered that the unnamed girl had allegedly been kept in a crib which had been lined with plywood for extended periods of time over the last two years. According to authorities, the confinement began when the victim turned 10 years old.
The couple also allegedly made the child spend extended periods of time in the couple’s bedroom closet. The pair had been referring to the four-foot-wide room as the child’s “bedroom,” records state. The closet contained only a crib mattress and toys, according police.
The couple has stated that they kept the child confined because the wanted to keep her from “getting into things,” records state.
The couple was originally jailed on June 20 in lieu of $85,000 bail each. However, their bail was amended to $25,000 each by District Judge Timothy Clark on June 21. Both will face a preliminary hearing before Clark on June 26.