The investigation into suspected child abuse was launched in August 2019 when a family member was returning a 7-year-old girl to her home and she reportedly stated, "I don't want to go back to [the] house because I have to sleep in the cage."
According to court records, an indictment was filed on August 31, 2020 charging 29-year-old Lillian Cottrell and 30-year-old Derek Mayle each with one felony count of endangering children. Both of them are in custody on $1 million bond, and they are due in court for a hearing today.
The indictment states that the mother, Cottrell, and her boyfriend, Mayle, did "torture and cruelly abuse" the girl between January 1, 2019 and July 30, 2019.
The Assistant Prosecutor Dan Petricini confirmed the girl weighed in at only 28 pounds when she was removed from the home. Two other, older children were additionally removed from the home, but investigators do not believe they were subjected to the same abuse as the girl.
All three children are reported through different outlets to be with relatives at this time.
During the investigation, Canton Police found reason to believe that the couple locked the girl in a dog cage in the basement, secured with a padlock, as a form of punishment. They additionally found reason to believe that she was subjected to other forms of "excessive discipline" that included the use of a wooden sign.
Cleveland.com cited Petricini as stating that further details of the case would not be provided at this time as the case was ongoing.