Stephanie Stone, a 34-year-old mother, was one of two people arrested for leaving her special needs children inside makeshift cages in Murray County, Georgia. Stone and another woman kept her 11-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter locked away for unknown days at a time, and there were drugs on the premises as well.
Local outlet WXIA reported on the case, which broke on Thursday and was announced by authorities on Friday. Stone and another woman, Wana Sue Redfern, were both charged with false imprisonment and cruelty to children. Stone was slapped with an additional charge of possession of methamphetamine. The children were nearly not rescued, but a persistent call by an anonymous caller helped secure their freedom and bring justice to the women.
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Ninety miles north of Atlanta in Murray County, the sheriff’s office made the horrific discovery when they went to a home for a welfare check.
Thursday at 11 a.m., Murray County deputies responded to a 911 call reporting a child had been left alone. The deputy was met at the door by a girl and an adult female. Since the deputy saw there was adult supervision, he left.
Later that day, the same personal called 911 asking for help again. This time, the deputy went inside and found an 11-year-old boy with special needs in a makeshift cage. Another child, an 8-year-old girl, was also found at the home.
The child’s mother, Stephanie Stone and Wanda Sue Redfern have been charged with false imprisonment and cruelty to children. Stone was also charged with possession of methamphetamine.
GBI Special Agent Greg Ramey, one of the officers that arrived at Stone’s residence, found the boy in a case that was described as “twin bunk beds that were of metal construction” and Ramey added there were “bars that he could not get out of.”
Ramey said that the beds stayed together with the use of zip lines and other types of metal.
Law enforcement officials say a second cage was found inside the home, which was assumed to be for the girl. Georgia’s Division of Children and Family Services were familiar with Stone and her children, this after a case was closed regarding the family just this past May.
Stone is being held on a $27,500 bond. Redferen is being held on a $25,000 bond.