Palm Bay Police have nabbed a woman on Sunday for inflicting horrid abuses on the children in her care in an "uninhabitable" home, where she would lock a girl with severe autism in a metal cage.

The suspect, Melissa Ann Doss, 43, has been slapped with three counts of child neglect and one count of child abuse. She's been booked at Brevard County Jail and being held on a $22,500 bond, Fox News reported.

Police initially responded to the area of Fillmore Avenue Northeast on an early Saturday call on July 24 following reports of a young girl, who appeared "non-verbal with a disability," climbing over a neighbor's screened-in patio, according to an arrest affidavit.

"She managed to climb over the fence and walk into [the neighbor's] screened patio," the report reads. "[The neighbor] immediately called the police to report this incident."

Officers then discovered that the child lived next door with Doss, who refused to allow police to enter her home. Doss instead climbed over the backyard fence to meet with the cops at the front door, according to Wesh.

She told police she dozed off and wasn't aware the child had run away from home. Doss would again refuse to let authorities inside to inspect possible environmental hazards, at which point police referred the case to the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF).

The same day, police returned to the neighborhood at 11:30 p.m. because the child had left home again. Officers claimed that Doss told them that she was "at the end of her rope" before declining again to let them check the conditions of her home.

A child protective investigator then met police at Doss' residence the next day and eventually gained access to the home through the back door, where "the immediate smell of feces and urine was strongly present," CBS12 noted.

According to authorities, trash, bugs, spiders, and flies scattered throughout the house, ultimately crowding the floor that it was no longer visible. Large chunks of the roof were also collapsing, with mold spotted throughout the entire home.

The child protective investigator also found that the residence did not have working bathrooms. Doss would only "use the restroom in a bucket and throw the waste in the backyard. The house, which also had no access to food or water, was found "in such disarray [and] is uninhabitable," the affidavit said.

Inside the bedroom, authorities found a "homemade cage" of metal and wood large enough to fit a twin bed. Doss allegedly locked the autistic child inside the cage at night "to keep her inside the house," according to the arrest report. Police were also told the child would scream from the cage until Doss lets her out. The woman also allegedly shares a small bed with another child.

The inspection subsequently led to Doss' arrest as investigations continued. At this point, her relation to the girl and the other child remains unclear.

Doss allegedly locked the autistic child inside a metal cage at night "to keep her inside the house," according to the arrest report. Police were also told the child would scream from the cage until Doss lets her out. This is a representational image. UNSPLASH

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