Imagine this. Law enforcement busts into a home to search for a robber and end up finding a disabled woman inside a cage covered in feces.
That is the horrific reality Wichita County deputies faced last week. Sheriff David Duke says the deputies first arrived at the home with a warrant to arrest 27-year-old Mickey Stewart.
He was wanted for aggravated robbery and a felony parole violation. Stewart allegedly robbed the Dollar Tree on 3900 Kemp in September and then backed his car into the assistant manager who tried to stop him.
When deputies went into a home on the 3100 block of North East Dr. to find Stewart they were overwhelmed by the smell of feces and urine. Duke says they heard noises coming from a back room. In the room deputies found a 25-year-old handicapped woman inside a 5-foot metal cage with an opening on top and a mattress. The woman was naked in a fetal position covered in feces.
"She couldn't see, she couldn't articulate anything. She just made noises. Almost like animal noises. Just the photograph that I saw is the number one worst thing I've ever seen," said Duke.
She was taken to the hospital and is now at an adult care facility. Duke says no charges have been filed but the investigation is centered on the woman's mother who was her primary care giver.
Neighbors who say they had no idea she even existed were shocked and wish they would've paid more attention to the red flags.
"It hurts that we could've possibly saved her if we knew something. Maybe make things a little bit easier for her if somebody would've called the police and say we heard this," said a neighbor.
Some neighbors say the only thing that stood out to them was the amount of people coming in and out of the house constantly.
But others noticed something more alarming.
"A couple of the kids that live nearby they said that they've heard moaning, they've heard screaming, they've heard yelling. Sometimes they play the music extremely loud," said a neighbor of the woman.
Duke says those are some of the signs you should be looking out for if you notice any strange behavior from your neighbors.
"Just anybody who may know they have person in the house who is handicapped like this and you never see them. The smell, that's a clue," said the sheriff.
Duke also says you shouldn't be afraid to be a nosey neighbor. Ask questions and find an excuse to stop over the house if you think something strange is going on.
And if you're afraid you could be in danger call law enforcement and they'll go do a welfare check on the residents. But this incident has left neighbors confused and shaken up.
"It kind of makes me want to be a little bit nosy but it also makes me want to stand off and not want to know anything because if they're capable of doing that to her what are they capable of doing to us or our kids," said a resident.
And another neighbor agrees. "My kids are out here. My kids are seen by all these other people and it makes me want to keep them inside safe and not allowed to play out here anymore because those type of people are out here and you want to keep them safe."