MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police found a child restrained in a southeast Memphis home Thursday.
Police say a girl inside the home called them and said her brother was chained up. Officers arrived and found an 8-year-old boy restrained inside the home.
Neighbors say the girl got a hold of a cellphone when her mother went to the grocery store.
Valerie Golden lives nearby and said her son played at the home and returned home to say the children there were hungry and one boy was chained to a fence one day and locked inside a shed another.
“My son has been telling me these kids are starving and they’re in the house with nothing to eat,” she said.
Golden said she told a police officer who lives in their neighborhood that her son saw the kids chained up in the backyard, but couldn’t get him to listen to her and no one could ever find proof.
“Me and neighbors around the corner have been trying to get this out and no one would listen to us.”
The parent’s uncle also lives at the home, and denied any children were restrained.
“For them being chained, I never saw that type of demonstration or nothing,” Calvin Hutchins said.
Neighbors say the family moved from Chicago with most of the children. They also say kids talked about the horrors in the home, but that it was hard to believe. Most said the parents appeared to be good people.
“We’ve all done foster care, family events in the neighborhood. So I dunno,” Barbara McKinley said.
Authorities aren’t releasing many details since a child is involved, but a WREG team witnessed officers remove the boy from the home.
The boy is now in DCS custody. Police have not arrested anyone as of yet.
Several other children were also removed from the home Thursday night.
No charges have been filed and the investigation is ongoing.
From DCS mid-day July 4:
DCS investigators and social workers are actively involved in this complicated case. We have taken steps to find a safe placement for the children and to make sure that we take care of their needs.
Our staff is researching family histories, and we are checking with our counterparts in another state. We are also checking our records to see if the family may have served as foster parents for DCS or any other agency in the past, but at this time, it does not appear that any of the children were in foster care at the time of this incident.