The parents of a 6-year-old Pennsylvania girl were arrested last week after they allegedly locked her naked in a dog cage, fed her dog food, and physically abused her, including beating her with a broom and shooting her legs with a BB gun.
Police said they launched an investigation on January 7, wen they were called to the home of 37-year-old Jacob William Weight and 33-year-old Mimi Ann Frost about an unresponsive minor, the Herald Standard reported.
According to the complaint against the couple, the girl appeared malnourished and had bruises and open sores on her body. She was taken to a local hospital and later transferred to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, which said the girl was “severely hypothermic” with a body temperature below 90 degree Fahrenheit.
The hospital also said she had broken and rotten teeth and swollen feet and had not received medical care in more than three years.
“It is stated multiple times in the report that she could have died as a result of this egregious abuse and neglect, and if she returns to her current environment, she is highly likely to die of abuse and neglect,” police wrote in the complaint.
Police interviewed the victim and four other children in the home, between the ages of 5 and 17, and said they found a pattern of abuse most frequently directed at the 6-year-old.
According to court documents, the girl told investigators that her parents “busted y head open a couple times with a lighter” and used zip ties to restrain her.
The complaint described the home as in “deplorable condition” with a strong odor of urine and feces “permeating the entirety of the house. Officers said eight dogs lived at the house with the two adults and five children.
Fayette County District Attorney Mike Aubele told KDKA that it was one of the worst cases of child abuse he’d ever seen.
“Throughout our investigation, we realized that this little girl had suffered, for lack of a better way to put it, she had been tortured in that house,” Aubele said. “There were numerous abrasions on her body, open sores, she was believed to be septic.”
A teenage child in the house told investigators that the 6-year-old was locked into a dog cage naked and kept there overnight and that there was no heat other than space heaters. The teen said Frost and Weight zip tied the girl’s hands and feet while she was in the dog kennel when they left the house and frequently wouldn’t feed her for days on end.
The victim reportedly told a therapist that she spent every night in the dog kennel and ate dog food. Weight, she said, beat her and shot her legs with a BB gun. Both parents reportedly beat her with a broom handle.
“We found evidence that this little girl had been in there, cage was zip-tied shut, there was a master lock on one side, she was unable to get out of the cage, apparently was punished anytime she did get out of the cage to try to find food,” Aubele said.
Weight and Frost were arrested on Tuesday and denied bond. Reporters shouted questions at them as they were taken to court. Frost said nothing, but Weight denied locking the little girl in a dog cage.
“I’m innocent. That’s it,” he said.
Aubele said that none of the other children or the dogs were malnourished and that investigators believe some of the other children may have participated in the abuse.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast.
[Featured image: Jacob Weight and Mimi Frost/KDKA screenshot]