A Florida woman was arrested and charged with child abuse for allegedly locking a four-year-old boy inside a filthy kitchen cupboard for hours on end on multiple occasions.
Lori Hamilton, 42, was taken into custody on Thursday and is being held without bail in Polk County Jail.
According to authorities, Hamilton repeatedly locked the child inside the compartment and screwed it shut to prevent the four-year-old from escaping, Orlando Sentinel reported.
Witnesses described the cabinet and the residence as a whole as dirty and roach-infested, adding that the four-year-old was forced to urinate and defecate on himself while in captivity.
Hamilton admitted to keeping the boy in the cabinet where she stores pots and pans, but said that it only happened four times and for about 20 minutes at a time.
The woman told deputies she did it because the boy would often keep her up at night. She also said the boy only soiled himself once, News 13 reported.
It remains unclear what is Hamilton’s relationship to the four-year-old. The home where the child was being kept does not match the woman’s listed home address, according to MyFox Tampa Bay.
According to the suspect’s arrest report, the child would often be trapped inside the cupboard until someone else in the house found him and let him out.
But when the 42-year-old woman realized the boy had been sprung free, she would often haul him back into his makeshift holding pan despite his pleas to be set free, the document stated.
The little boy told investigators that he was often bitten by cockroaches and spiders, and confirmed that he would use the cupboard as a bathroom when locked inside for extended periods of time.
Department of Children and Families spokeswoman Carrie Hoeppner said three children were placed into protective custody because of the environmental hazards in the home and the accusations that Hamilton locked her son in the cabinet.