Police in Pennsylvania have arrested a father who was caught leaving his 22-month-old baby home alone in a homemade “cage.”
According to state police, the baby boy was found "locked inside a homemade cage that was constructed from plywood and lattice [with] a door on it which was locked from the outside" inside a Pottsville home.
Authorities say a Schuylkill County children's services official responded to the home Wednesday for a welfare check, but nobody answered a knock on the door.
The official then called the father, Cecil Eugene Kutz, and it was soon determined that he was definitely not home.
Police were immediately called, and they had to force their way into the home, where they discovered three children.
After finding the toddler in the makeshift crib, the officers also discovered a 1-day-old baby girl in a seat and a 1-year-old boy in a playpen.
According to an arrest affidavit, the children had all been left alone for at least 40 minutes.
"From the time we arrived to the residence to the time the father returned, it was 40 minutes. God knows how long they were alone before that. He was nowhere to be found," said Trooper Thomas Robin.
During a search of the home, police found absolutely no baby formula in the house and no "evidence that the baby was fed at all.”
Police say the newborn’s mother had just given birth earlier this week, and she had to be rushed to the hospital on Wednesday due to "extreme bleeding."
Robin said medical staff asked the mom, "'Where's the baby?' She said, 'The baby's at home.' That put up a red flag."
When Kutz, 37, returned home, he was immediately arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment.
Police have since revealed that Kutz has refused to tell them where he went or how long he was gone for.
When asked about the cage, Kutz told officers that he put it together to keep his toddler safe at night.
"He says he would keep him there at night because he claimed he was crawling all over the place. He told me he's done it in the past, that it's not the first time he put him in that contraption," Robin said.
According to police, Kutz "really didn't seem very concerned" about leaving his children home alone.
The children’s mother, however, was reportedly extremely alarmed and "said this was never done on her watch," the trooper said.