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Florida woman arrested after ‘keeping child with autism in a cage in her home littered with filth’

Florida woman, 43, arrested after ‘keeping non-verbal child with severe autism in a cage in her home littered with filth’

  • Melissa Doss was arrested and charged with two felony counts of child neglect without bodily harm and aggravated child abuse as aggravated assault  
  • Officers were dispatched to Doss’ home on Saturday after a neighbor noticed a child inside of their screened-in porch 
  • ‘If you saw the inside of my residence, (the Department of Children and Families) would be called!’ Doss could be heard yelling from behind the front door 
  • When authorities finally gained entry into Doss’ home, they says they were hit with ‘the immediate smell of feces and urine (which) was strongly present’ 
  • Officers noted mold and bags of trash strewn about the place, bugs, spiders and flies throughout the home, while adding that no part of the floor was visible 
  • Doss is being held on a $22,500 bond following her arrest, according to Brevard records 

A Florida woman who is accused of child abuse says she was ‘at the end of her rope’ when she allegedly locked a young non-verbal, ‘severely’ autistic girl inside a cage at her home, which was filthy and littered with garbage.

Palm Bay resident Melissa Doss, 43, was arrested and charged with three felony counts of child neglect without bodily harm and one count of aggravated child abuse as aggravated assault after police arrived at the property on Saturday, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office reports.

As of Tuesday morning, authorities have yet to respond to MailOnline’s request for the nature of the relationship between Doss and the child, as well as the child’s age. 

Palm Bay Police say they have responded to Doss’ Fillmore Avenue home several times in the past, however the exact details and results of those investigations remain unclear.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, officers were once again dispatched to Doss’ home on Saturday after a neighbor noticed a child inside of their screened-in porch. 

Responding officers quickly determined that the young girl, who cannot speak, had a disability, before discovering she lived at the residence next door.

Melissa Doss, 43, was arrested and charged with three counts of child neglect and one count of child abuse

When police went over to Doss’ home, she refused them entry at the front door, instead climbing over the backyard fence to greet them.

Doss told authorities she had been sleeping and was unaware that the child had left the house, again refusing to allow officers to have a look about the home before authorities ultimately returned the child to Doss and left the scene.

Just hours later, cops were called again to her home after that same neighbor saw the child was in their yard. 

Once again, Doss refused them entry, this time telling the officers that she ‘was at the end of her rope.’

‘If you saw the inside of my residence, (the Department of Children and Families) would be called!’ Doss could be heard yelling from behind the front door.

WESH 2 reports that an investigator with the DCF was alerted a day later. 

Doss says she was 'at the end of her rope,' when responding officers arrived at her home

Doss says she was ‘at the end of her rope,’ when responding officers arrived at her home

When authorities finally gained entry into Doss’ home, they says they were hit with ‘the immediate smell of feces and urine (which) was strongly present.’ 

Officers noted mold and bags of trash strewn about the place, bugs, spiders and flies throughout the home, while adding that no part of the floor was visible.

The home, described by police as ‘uninhabitable,’ also did not have working bathrooms or running water, according to WESH 2, instead ‘they use the restroom in a bucket and throw the waste in the backyard.’

Child protective services eventually learned that Doss and a child share a bed, while another child was forced to sleep in a homemade metal and wood cage, which was kept next to the bed.

Police on scene say there was a blanket and a pillow inside the cage, where Doss told them she keeps the child at night, only letting her out after the little girl screams to awaken Doss in the morning, according to authorities. 

Doss is being held on a $22,500 bond following her arrest, according to Brevard records.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk