Father of children found locked in "cage-like" enclosures speaks out

The brick house on River View Drive looks a lot like the other ones in Shrewsbury, normal. But inside, West Virginia State Troopers say it was anything but.

State Troopers said they found a two-year-old and a five-year-old, locked up in small, cage-like enclosures. Troopers said the childrens’ mother, Kristal Richard, is the one who locked the children up.

“I never thought in a million years that something like this would ever happen,” Richard said.

According to court documents, troopers found the two-year-old locked in a wooden enclosure that was about four feet tall, four feet deep, and six feet wide.

Troopers also said the children were naked, there was fecal matter smeared on the walls and there was no bedding for them to lay on.

“It was terrible, terrible conditions,” Trooper TFC Manolakos said.

Manolakos said when they found the five-year-old in another small room enclosure he was pacing back and forth talking to himself.

Manolakos said when they let the boy out he said “Yippe, I’m free!”

The childrens’ father said he was in the process of going through a divorce with Kristal and had not been to their home for more than a month. He did say, however, that he did see the boys just the weekend before and did notice a change in their behavior.

“They were very clingy. They held on to me, especially my youngest boy.” Richard said.

Troopers at the scene said Kristal Richard told them she put the children in the enclosures, even though she knew it was wrong and that she admitted she was not fit to raise children. Troopers said there is no word yet on if drugs were involved.

“She’s not the same person I married six years ago,” Noel Richard said.

Troopers said the children have been placed with other family members for now.

Kristal Richard is in jail and troopers said they plan to work with the prosecutor to see if even more charges can be filed against her.

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