Family members, family friend arrested for allegedly locking 5-year-old girl in dog cage

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NICOMA PARK, Okla. (KFOR) – Three people have been arrested after a 5-year-old girl was allegedly locked in a dog cage. 

Family members of the child, 63-year-old Charles DeRonda and 59-year-old Mary DeRonda, have been charged with two counts of child neglect. They were booked into the Oklahoma County Jail Monday. 

46-year-old Jeremy Cook also locked her in a cage. He is a friend of Charles. He has been charged with child abuse.

“This is probably the worst one I’ve ever seen especially with the allegations, kept in a dog cage. You don’t do that to a child,” Lt. Mike Weiss with the Nicoma Park Police Department said.

Court records show the home had rotting food, trash, insects, and feces everywhere. They also say the girl had to go to the bathroom on herself and was not given any food or water.

“The child was being kept in a, put into a dog cage, and kept there for long periods of time, even sometimes with the dog itself,” Weiss said.

Cook also had another warrant out for his arrest for burglary and assault in a different case.

Police say DHS was originally alerted after hospital staff members saw the girl when a family member went to the hospital.

“During that time, the people at St. Anthony were concerned about her,” Weiss said. 

The girl is in protective custody.

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