Florida woman accused of keeping child with autism in cage

Melissa Doss, of Palm Bay, faces 3 charges of child neglect

Melissa Doss is facing three charges of child neglect and one charge of aggravated child abuse.
Melissa Doss is facing three charges of child neglect and one charge of aggravated child abuse. (BCSO)

PALM BAY, Fla. – A 43-year-old Palm Bay woman is accused of keeping a child with autism in a cage, according to police records.

Melissa Doss is facing three charges of child neglect and one charge of aggravated child abuse.

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According to records, officers responded to the house on Fillmore Avenue multiple times this past weekend.

Investigators said Doss gave permission for officers to go inside the home.

Police said they could smell feces and urine the second they went inside.

Officers said there was trash and bugs scattered throughout the house.

Records show no part of the floor was visible throughout the residence.

Several sections of the roof were cut out, according to investigators.

Mold was spotted in the house, according to police.

Officers said they deemed the house uninhabitable.

There was no food or water in the house, according to officers.

Police said they saw the cage, a blanket and a pillow were inside it.

According to records, Doss is accused of closing and trapping the child with autism in the cage at night to keep her inside the house.

The child is now in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families.


About the Author:

Jon is a Web Producer for ClickOrlando and has been with News 6 since March 2019.