In a shocking incident reported from Roane County in Tennessee, a teenager, who was caged in the flooded basement of a house for years, was rescued after the remains of a young girl were found buried in the backyard of the same home.

A couple was arrested and charged with abuse of four children. Michael Anthony Gray Sr., 63, and his 60-year-old wife, Shirley Ann Gray, were arraigned Tuesday and were facing charges for two counts of aggravated child abuse, two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, three counts of aggravated child neglect and one count of abuse of a corpse.

According to Judicial District Attorney General Russell Johnson, authorities were alerted Friday evening after passers-by found a child riding a scooter alone near the suspects' Dry Fork Valley Road home in the Ten Mile community.

Michael reportedly told officials from the Roane County Sheriff’s Office and the state’s Department of Children’s Services that he had buried a young girl, about 10 years old, in a pole barn in the back yard of his home after she died in 2017.

He also said he had a young boy in his captivity, locked up inside a cage in the home’s basement.

The girl's body was found Saturday. Officers also found the 15-year-old boy locked in a cage in the partially flooded basement surrounded by animal feces, garbage, and mold.

The remains of the young girl were taken to the Knoxville Regional Forensic Center for autopsy. Officials from the University of Tennessee anthropology department were assisting in the tests. The cause of her death will be revealed after the results are out.

According to records, four children were living with the couple. The couple was not the biological parents, but they had legal custody of the children.

The 15-year-old boy was the oldest of the four children. He was locked in the basement as punishment for stealing food from the pantry and the refrigerator since around 2016.

The warrant states that "(The child) was confined to the unfinished basement since this date and had no contact with anyone outside the basement, only given small amounts of food, being white bread and some water."

Until the couple constructed a small, concrete room, measuring approximately three feet by four feet under the stairs for confinement, the two other children were periodically locked inside a wire dog cage.

According to the warrant, the girl who died was also locked in the basement as punishment for stealing food in early 2017. She was fed only bread and water until she died a few months later. Her body was kept in a cardboard box before the couple dug a grave and buried her.

It was reported that none of the children received medical attention. The couple admitted that all four were diagnosed as "failure to thrive" during their last medical checkup. The three surviving children who were reported to be only homeschooled appeared to be "stunted in growth."

"(Two of the children) appear to have no formal education, and were, in fact, amazed by what a refrigerator does when they observed one in their foster home," the warrant stated.

Johnson said he was anticipating further charges and that ‘there is still more forensic evidence to be analyzed by the investigators and forensics experts which will still need to be reviewed by the prosecutors.’” 

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