9 charged with neglect after 3-year-old girl found locked inside box

Patricia Meeks, 18.

NORTH JUDSON, Ind. — Nine people in Indiana are facing charges after deputies discovered a 3-year-old girl locked inside a wooden box.

After reports of child abuse, officers with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office searched a property on Dec. 14 and found the girl inside a locked plywood box in the living room, WSBT reports. The girl was said to be kept in it for extended periods of time, authorities say.

Patricia Meeks, 18, Donna Short, 42 and Christopher Short, 25, were charged with child neglect. Six other people were charged with failure to report child abuse.

Complete list of charges:

Neglect of a dependent

  • Donna Short, 42
  • Christopher Short, 25
  • Patricia Meeks, 18

Failure to report child abuse

  • Michael Meeks, 19
  • Thelma Meeks, 38
  • Derrick Butala, 36
  • Shawn Griffin, 18
  • Anna Senesac, 19
  • Timothy Senesac, 18

The 3-year-old girl and five juveniles were released to the custody of the Pulaski County Indiana Department of Child Services.

The investigation is ongoing.