A Wisconsin couple is being held on charges of reckless endangerment, child neglect, and false imprisonment, according to Monroe County authorities. Travis Lanier Headrick, 46, and Amy Michele Headrick, 39, are being held on a $20,000 bond for allegedly keeping their five children in what can only be described as ‘cages.’
According to the New York Daily News, “Amy and Travis Headrick were each hit with nine felony counts Monday after investigators found they kept minors in makeshift cages, including a horse trough, at a home in the village of Melvina. The couple had been arrested Friday."
The situation came to light after a babysitter took photos of the arrangement and showed them to her mother, who then notified authorities.
One of the children, a ten-year-old boy, was reportedly zip-tied to a horse trough because he allegedly “defecated himself.” Mrs. Headrick said the arrangement was made so she could better clean him up after his mishaps. She said he also tried to jump out a second-story window, so it was for his safety as well.
“I didn’t want to put him in a bathtub and make him sleep in the bathroom, so I thought this was something I could wash and take out for him," she told investigators. She added that the child had once “almost fell out of the two-story window.”
An 11-year-old was found locked in a makeshift cage and a 12-year-old in a locked room. The 11-year-old had reportedly tried to choke his little brother before and the Headricks wanted to ensure the safety of all the kids while the parents were asleep.
Speaking in her own defense, Amy Headrick said, "At night when I am sleeping at 10, I don’t know what’s going on," she told cops, according to the complaint. "I don’t want them choking each other. So I just make sure they're safe. I’m not tying them up. I’m not beating them, I don’t even spank them."
In all, there are five children, four adopted and one of their own. The couple is being held on a $20,000 bond and is charged with nine felony counts including reckless endangerment, child neglect, and false imprisonment. They are due in court on September 6th.