Palm Bay Woman Arrested For Locking Autistic Child Inside Cage

Melissa Doss charged with child neglect, aggravated child abuse

Melissa Doss, 43, was taken into custody on Sunday and charged with three counts of child neglect and one count of aggravated child abuse. (BCSO Image)

BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA (FOX 35) – A Florida woman has been arrested, accused of locking a non-verbal, autistic child inside a cage.

Melissa Doss, 43, was taken into custody on Sunday and charged with three counts of child neglect and one count of aggravated child abuse.

A day earlier, Palm Bay police officers responded to a residence on Filmore Ave. after receiving a call around 2:30 a.m. that a young girl had climbed over a privacy fence and entered a neighbor’s screened-in patio. Officers said the child could not speak and appeared to have a “disability.”

Officers went to the home where the child reportedly lives and spoke with Doss, Doss told officers she was unaware that the child had left the house, according to a police report, and explained that the child has autism.

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