An Upshur County couple was arrested on Monday, after state police said they found three children kept in “cage-like structures” in their home.
Troopers responded to a home in Buckhannon to assist a representative with Child Protective Services in removing children from the home, state police said. Once troopers arrived on scene they were invited into the home of Howard Rakes, 46 and Samantha Rakes, 36, both of Buckhannon, they said. After entering the home, they saw three children, four-years-old and younger, being kept in three separate cage-like structures, according to court paperwork.
The two cages that contained two male children consisted of a baby bed, with another baby bed that was turned upside down on top of it, troopers said. Police also said that the baby beds were tied together to form a cage-like structure.
The third child was placed in a baby play pen, with plastic crates tied and placed around the top, and secured with a top piece forming a cage-like structure, a criminal complaint went on to say.
The Child Protective Services representative then asked Samantha Rakes to remove one of the male children from the baby bed structure, the complaint detailed. It took Rakes more than a minute to untie the structure and remove the child from the baby bed, troopers said. If there were an immediate threat, such as a house fire, there would have been a substantial risk of death or serious injury to remove the children from the residence, state police felt.
Howard and Samantha Rakes were arrested and charged with child neglect creating risk of injury. Both are being held in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail with bail for each on them set at $150,000.