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TATE COUNTY, Miss. (WREG) — A Mississippi grandmother and her boyfriend are charged with child abuse after investigators allege they kept children locked inside a dog cage.

The Tate County Sheriff’s Department began an investigation at a home in the 400 block of Turner Road, east of Senatobia, after receiving a referral Tuesday from Child Protective Services.

Investigators said they found a wire cage with a locking device, and have evidence to believe at some point children had been placed inside. No children were seen in the cage when law enforcement responded.

The sheriff’s office said the cage was allegedly used as a form of punishment.

Four children lived at the house. The youngest is 4, the oldest 9. The sheriff’s office said they did not appear physically injured or malnourished, and have been placed in another home.

Brenda Faye Dennison, 51, the children’s grandmother, and Adrian Person LeSure, 52, are both charged with two counts of felonious child abuse.

The investigation is ongoing, and authorities said more charges could come.

Captain Lisa Sanders with the Tate County Sheriffs Office has been in law enforcement nearly 25 years.

“I’ve never had to deal with this type of situation since I’ve been in law enforcement and it’s very disturbing,” she said.

Captain Sanders says this case serves as an example. If you see something you might think is a strange, say something.

“If something is said that just doesn’t seem right, report it. Let us look into it. Let us determine if it is nothing or it is something. Phone calls and people just speaking up saves lives,” she said.

We went to the property where neighbors told us the couple lived, but no one answered the door. 

We did speak with a relative of LeSure, the boyfriend charged in the case. She told us she does not believe the allegations against him.