Shocking details about the dreadful conditions in which a sexagenarian Tennessee couple kept four children have emerged. While the remains of a 10-year-old girl were found buried in their backyard, a boy was locked up in their basement for four years. Two other children were kept in a wire dog cage. All four were in the legal custody of the couple.
Authorities were alerted on Friday after a little boy was found walking around Roanne County, Tennessee. As investigations got under way, the dreadful details came to light. The man quickly confessed to burying the remains of a girl in the barn in their backyard.
Michael Anthony Gray Sr. (63) revealed that after the girl was locked up in the basement for months, she died in 2017, aged 10. He then buried her in their backyard. On Saturday, the authorities unearthed the skeletal remains of the child, the Associated Press reported.
Another boy, the oldest of them all, was locked up in a partially flooded basement in 2016 for allegedly stealing money soon after they moved to that home in June 2016. The boy was set free by the authorities on Friday. All these years, he had no contact with anyone outside the basement and was given minimal food -- just white bread and water, the warrant stated. When the authorities liberated him, he was surrounded by feces, garbage and mold.
Two other children were kept in a wire dog cage. The couple built another room under the stairs for punishment. The kids were homeschooled and appeared to be "stunted in growth", the warrant added.
Michael Gray's wife, Shirley Ann Gray (60), claimed that all four children were keeping up with homeschooling. Two of them appeared to have no formal education, according to her, as they were amazed to see a refrigerator and what it does, when they saw one in their foster home.
On Monday, the couple were arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse, especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated child neglect and abuse of a corpse. The three surviving children, aged between 11 and 15, have been removed from their custody by the state Department of Children's Services.