Police raiding the home of a person suspected of making and selling methamphetamine were shocked at what they found when they opened a closet door— a 4-year-old boy sitting in the closet, according to ABC 13.
He told police officers that his mother, April Burrier, forced him to live there.
Court testimony revealed the child was “not allowed out of it for hours at a time.” He explained “his friends” — the “rats and roaches” — would visit him while he was locked up.
Investigators are not sure how long the child was kept inside the closet, but Rachel Leal-Hudson, the boy’s attorney, said:
“He can articulate some things that are really shocking and surprising that tell us he was in there for a quite a length of time.”
The investigation revealed that he was also punished in other ways.
He had to sit on top of a refrigerator if he was caught sneaking out of the closet. That terrified him, because he might fall off if he fell asleep.
“The detail on this case is very awful. This is a 4-year-old child who has seen things an adult should not have seen.”
Burrier wasn’t in the home when the boy was discovered during the raid. She was arrested when she returned, at which point she told authorities someone else was caring for her son. Investigators said the mom was too high or intoxicated to tell them who that person was or how to contact them.
The Star-Telegram reports that tests performed on the child show he was exposed to meth while he was living in the home.
The 4-year-old was placed in temporary custody with child welfare officials while the investigation continues.
Meanwhile, Burrier was charged with endangering a child.
The child’s dad, Robert Dehard, who has previous drug convictions, said he gave the boy to Burrier after Thanksgiving. Now, he’s trying to get custody of his son, but he refused to submit to drug testing until Tuesday. The custody request has been delayed until February while they await the results.
Authorities are still searching for the man they believe was making and selling the drugs at the home.
See more about the horrible conditions the child was living in below: