Prosecutor: Parents kept autistic boy in cage

ST. LOUIS (AP) - An eastern Missouri couple is facing charges for allegedly keeping their autistic son in a makeshift cage.

St. Charles County prosecutor Tim Lohmar filed charges of endangering the welfare of a child on Friday against Victoria and Terry Smith, formerly of O'Fallon. The couple now resides in Elsberry. They do not yet have an attorney.

Lohmar says an anonymous call tipped authorities in December 2010, when the boy was 6.

When police, paramedics and a case worker responded, the boy's grandmother was watching him and five siblings.

Lohmar says she led them to the basement, where the autistic child was in a 3-foot-by-6-foot crib covered with a plywood top and held together with bungee cords and zip ties.

Investigators said he was naked and sitting in feces and urine.

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