5 arrested after Amite woman found living in cage

5 arrested after Amite woman found living in cage

Five people have been arrested in connection with human trafficking and cruelty to the infirm, according to the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office.

Arrested are Raylaine Knope, 40; Terry Knope, 43; Taylor Knope, 18; Bridget Lambert, 19; and Jody Lambert, 21. Over the course of the investigation, investigators discovered that the suspects conspired to take the young woman to a location where she would be forced into sex for money with multiple men.

On June 30, investigator's executed a search warrant at home on Rushing Lane in Amite after receiving a complaint that the occupants of the home were keeping a 22-year-old woman locked up in a cage on the property.

Investigators located the woman, who was found wandering around in the back yard of the home. Investigators learned that she is autistic and was forced to live in a makeshift shelter that consisted of a blue tarp draped over a cage that resembled a dog kennel. Investigators said the woman was often locked in the cage at night in order to keep her from wandering off.

The woman appeared to be malnourished and was covered in insect bites.

Located inside the shelter was a 5-gallon bucket used as a toilet and all of the woman's personal belongings. The victim, whose name is not being released, was taken to the hospital to be evaluated. She was then placed in the care and custody of the Louisiana Department of Health, Adult/Elderly Protective Services.

In addition, four children were removed from the home and placed with the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be forthcoming.

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