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Parents wanted after Ohio child found locked in cage, another holding meth pipe

Megan Smith, 25, and Franklin “T.J.” Varney, 38, have been accused of child endangerment after a 3-year-old was found locked in a cage and a 2-year-old was found holding a meth pipe. (Courtesy Photo/Hocking County Sheriff’s Office)

LOGAN, Ohio (WCMH) – Two Ohio parents face arrest warrants and a grandmother is in custody after deputies in Ohio found a 3-year-old in a cage and a 2-year-old holding a drug pipe Sunday during a search of a house, according to the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office.

HCSO says they conducted a search warrant at a residence during an investigation into sexual assault.

When authorities arrived at the home, they say they found a 3-year-old locked in a cage that was secured with zip ties and had bugs inside. A 2-year-old was then seen walking inside the house holding a meth pipe, law enforcement said.

Both children were taken into emergency custody.

The parents of the infants fled the residence due to their involvement with the sexual assault investigation, according to the sheriff’s office. The grandmother of the infants, 61-year-old Ella Webb, was arrested and charged with endangering children. Her cash surety bond set at $200,000 after pleading not guilty.

Felony charges for endangering children were filed against the parents, Franklin “TJ” Varney, 38, and Megan Smith, 25. Nationwide arrest warrants were requested from the court.

“I very, very strongly encourage Mr. Varney and Ms. Smith to immediately surrender themselves to law enforcement. If they choose to run from their responsibilities, as they did tonight, the Hocking County Sheriff’s Office will tirelessly leverage every local, State, and Federal resource available to bring these two to justice,” said Hocking County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Caleb J. Moritz in a release.

Anyone with information on Varney or Smith is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 740-385-2131.

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