A Virginia woman is facing five charges of child abuse after being accused by social workers of keeping her children in cages, the Delmarva Now reported.
Malista Ness-Hopkins, 39, of Mears, Virginia was indicted earlier this week after social workers claimed to have found two toddlers locked in cages. The toddlers were allegedly kept in cribs with lids screwed onto the top, the Delmarva Now reported.
A social worker claimed that it took 23 minutes to use a screwdriver to remove one of the toddlers from the cage.
Ness-Hopkins' five children were allegedly living in filth, surrounded by lice and dirty diapers. The children were also covered in insect bites, social workers allege.
“Outside, there was trash and debris. Inside, the smell was overwhelming. The kitchen was littered with trash and cockroaches were all over the floor,” investigator Meghann Patterson said in court. “There was rotted food in containers."
Ness-Hopkins is free on bond as she awaits trial, the Delmarva Now reported. Ness-Hopkins said that she has been a stay at home mom for the last 17 years.
The father of some of Ness-Hopkins' five children, Tommy Annis, died last May, the newspaper reported.