NEBRASKA (CNN) – A Nebraska couple is accused of locking their toddler in a makeshift cage. 23-year-old Louis Arms and 22-year-old Kelsi Gaube are charged with felony child abuse.
This is what deputies say they found Saturday in the home of Kelsi Gaube and Louis Arms. The affidavit says it’s a cage the couple built two months ago called the prison. A five feet wide, two feet deep space, constructed from crib parts.
Gaube and arms told deputies, their three year old boy would stay locked up “for hours”, “without any toys or any water”, “until he would listen.”
“I’ve been in law enforcement for over 33 years. It’s the first time that I have seen an actual cage built. What they call the prison,” Otoe county sheriff Jim Gress says it’s been an emotional discovery for his deputies.
“Most of these officers have young children of their own. There is some emotion there that they have to control it and they don’t want to do what is inside them because then they will be breaking the law also,” Gress continued.
We went to the accused couple’s home in Burr for an explanation, but no one answered the door. According to the affidavit the deputies first found marijuana in the home.
At that point Arms “wanted to show him something else.” He led a deputy to a child’s bedroom where he discovered the cage, exposing the family’s secret.
“They know they are doing wrong so they have that on their mind and on their conscience, and they want to come forward some point and now is the time the officers are there when they have been having a feud. They just want to come clean,” Gress said.
Both Gaube and Arms face felony child abuse charges and a five year prison sentence if convicted. The couple’s two children now live with relatives.
Nobody in Burr wanted to talk about the alleged child abuse. We asked nine people that’s roughly 15 percent of the town’s population. Most said they were embarrassed about what may have happened next door.