LAS VEGAS - A woman accused of keeping her 4-year-old son in a cage appeared before a judge Monday.
The I-Team learned the child was placed back with his parents even after police say they found him in a cage, malnourished with no food or water. The child also had a severe rash all over his face, and his bedding was soaked in urine.
On Monday, the judge expressed concern that the child is back with the same people accused of terrorizing him, his mother and stepfather.
The child's mother, Sheila Reyes, cried when she was placed in handcuffs on Monday. Her bail was set at $50,000. However, the prosecutor on the case said there would be more charges to come.
Police say they found the boy in a homemade cage on Dec.1 of 2016. According to the defense attorney for Reyes, the child was placed back with his parents about four months later, and the parents have worked out the issue through family court.
However, according to the prosecutor, that doesn't say much. Especially, since for nearly half of the child murders in 2016, there were open cases with Child Protective Services, she said.
"I understand there is a lot more going on in this case than what meets the eye," said Judge Harmony Letizia, Las Vegas Justice Court. "It sounds like the state is amending to add more charges. You are saying there are some things to mitigate? I am extremely concerned about this child being back in the custody of these two individuals."
Both Reyes and her husband Juan Gonzales-Orozco are expected back in court later this month. Court records show Reyes claimed the boy was Autistic and kept him in the cage because he couldn't be loose.
The stepfather said he knew keeping the boy in the cage was a mistake and that they are sorry.
A pediatrician who examined the boy said he had a developmental delay which appeared to be because of neglect, but a few months after he had been removed he was doing much better and had made tremendous strides.
Police say a special ed teacher at the boy's school visited the home a couple of times after she noticed problems with the child at school. She saw the cage and said it looked like something used for a dangerous animal.
She told the school principal, but they did not contact authorities.
By law, they are mandatory reporters meaning they must report suspected child abuse or neglect but we have not heard about any charges against them.
I also contacted the Clark County School District, and a spokesman says the district is looking into the allegations.
The boy's mother is in jail, but jail records show that the child's stepfather isn't.
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