Story Time

Toddler Found Living In Cage In Filthy Trailer With 10′ Boa Constrictor

Three people were arrested after police uncovered a life of hell that a toddler endured as he was forced to live in a cage in a filthy trailer, along with a ten-foot boa constrictor. Sadly, that was just the tip of the iceberg as over 700 other disturbing discoveries were made in the house of horrors.

Forty-six-year-old Thomas Jefferson “TJ” Brown, his 42-year-old girlfriend Heather Scarbrough, and his 82-year-old father Charles Brown were hit with multiple charges after police uncovered the deplorable living conditions of their Buchanan mobile home in Henry County, Tennessee. Responding to an anonymous report of possible animal abuse, deputies arrived at the home on Dale Cemetery Road and quickly realized an animal cruelty investigation was needed, but it was the shocking discoveries inside the home that took their breath away.

In addition to being filthy, the trailer, belonging to Charles, was a living hell for Heather’s 18-month-old son, who was found caged inside. Not only was the toddler in a 4×4 metal dog kennel in the living room without any blankets and only a few toys, he “had been living there for some time” with dozens of cockroaches crawling inside. Investigators also noted an “unreal” smell of ammonia, feces, and urine coming from the baby’s cage and the filthy trailer. Sadly, that wasn’t all.

In addition to the caged child, authorities found so much more that raised concern, including a ten-foot boa constrictor, guns, drugs, and an estimated 600 animals, The Sun reported. Fox 17 cited as many as 700+ animals occupying the property. According to Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew, the large boa constrictor was in the room next to the boy and two other snakes were seen dangling above the cage, which was surrounded by buckets of live mice and multiple other snakes.

“With all of the law enforcement experience up here, it’s hard to find something that actually shocks us,” the Sheriff said during a press conference. “I’ve never seen this before, and I can guarantee the gentlemen up here with me have never seen this before.”

In all, “6 chickens and roosters, 56 dogs, 10 rabbits, 4 parakeets, 3 cats, 8 snakes, a pheasant, and a gecko” were seized by authorities, along with 17 guns, including an AR-15 rifle, the NY Post reported. However, according to Fox 17, there were also 531 mice, hamsters, and rats, and one of the dogs went into labor shortly after being discovered. The outlet also said there were actually 86 chickens and roosters total, as well as 3 sugar gliders and 127 marijuana plants on the property.

“In a single-wide trailer in the living room you’ve got a kid caged, you’ve got eight snakes, and you’ve got the snake’s feed butted up against the child’s cage,” Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said. “Eight snakes in the same room, then mice running everywhere.”

“They were in tanks and they were completely filled to the top with feces. It was a complete mess,” Michael Cunningham, of the Animal Rescue Corps, told NewsChannel5 after he was confronted with several animals inside the feces-filled property. “There was trash on the floor, cockroaches all over us, and flies everywhere.”

After TJ Brown, Heather Scarbrough, and Charles Brown were all hit with a number of charges, including aggravated child abuse, aggravated cruelty to animals, possession of a firearm while committing another felony, manufacturing marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to Fox 17, their defense argued that the boy was placed in the kennel for his own good.

Calling it a makeshift playpen for a lower-income family, the suspects said the kennel was the safest place in the house for the child, painting a grim picture of the living conditions. Surprisingly, the chief investigating officer with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office agreed, at least to a point, according to WKRN. Parts of the home didn’t have any flooring at all and the kitchen was “unlivable,” the Sheriff said. Maggots and cockroaches infested the entire trailer, including the kennel where the boy slept.

While the chief investigating officer felt the kennel was the safest place for the child under the conditions, he also said there is a big difference between a playpen and the kennel, where the child was forced to live. “When I put a child in a playpen, there’s not 8 snakes, hundreds of rats and hamsters and mice up against the cage,” he said in court. “There’s no cockroaches in the cage. There’s not urine-soaked clothes in the cage. I mean, there’s a big difference.”

Child welfare workers took the boy, who physically went into the arms of a female officer, but further details on his condition were not immediately available. While trying to downplay the horrors the child suffered, the defense pointed out that a rash was the only physical condition anyone could see that the one-year-old had suffered, but a Department of Child Services (DCS) worker took the stand and testified that a hair follicle test was conducted on the child and that he tested positive for THC.

Sickeningly, TJ Brown — a convicted felon, facing an additional gun charge — was worried about getting his animals back upon his arrest but did not ask about the child, Sheriff Belew said. Another official said the scene was heartbreaking as the child was “living just like the animals.” However, no animal deserves to live like this, let alone a child.

If your house is in such deplorable conditions that it’s not safe for your child, it’s time to clean up your home. Instead, these adults say that they put this baby in a cage for his own “safety.” That’s not really true though, is it? This wasn’t for his safety. This was for their debauchery and convenience, enabling them to continue to live their disgustingly lazy lives in filth. Now, it’s their turn to find out what it’s like to live in a cage. May they get a taste of the same hell they put this child through.