Nevada parents locked son with autism inside feces-covered makeshift jail cell: police report

Police visited the home to check on child who officials say had not been to school for about a week, arrest report says

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Friday, April 26, 2024
Boy with autism found locked makeshift jail cell: Nevada police report
Clark County School District Police went to a Henderson, Nevada home to check on a child who hadn't been in class for over a week.

HENDERSON, Nev. -- According to a police report, Clark County School District officers went to a Nevada home on Tuesday to check on one of the children who hadn't been to school for over a week.

They say after officers knocked on the door for about 40 minutes, one of the suspects finally opened it, revealing what officials call deplorable living conditions.

From the outside, the house may look like any other in the seemingly quiet Henderson neighborhood.

But a police report obtained by Channel 13 paints a clearer picture of what was going on inside the home.

"It's kind of dark to have people with that mentality here as neighbors," one neighbor said, in Spanish.

Misty Scanlan, 46, and Jeffrey Scanlan, 41, live in the home on Silverton Drive with their four children.

According to the arrest report, CCSD Police visited the home Tuesday to check on one of the couple's children, who police say had not been to school for about a week.

While at the door, officers say they could hear a "child screaming and a gate rattling inside."

Both Henderson police and CCSD officers knocked on the door for over a half hour until the children's father finally opened it.

In the report, officers say they saw the suspect's 11-year-old son, who has autism and was wearing a diaper, locked inside a makeshift jail cell that was covered in feces in the living room.

The Scanlans' three other children were also home.

One man was shocked to learn what was happening in his neighborhood.

"I don't have space in my head to think about how you can do that," he said, in Spanish.

In an interview with police, the suspects said the metal enclosure had been inside the home for roughly six years.

The Scanlans said they would lock their 11-year-old son inside when his quote "behavior got out of control."

The report says Misty and her two older children would clean the enclosure but stopped cleaning it about three weeks ago because they were getting "extremely busy."

According to police, the couple's daughter also has autism, and they locked her in her room as well.

"There's no justification for this," the couple's neighbor said.

The couple were arrested and booked into the Henderson Detention Center on one count of child abuse and neglect, but have since posted bail.

Channel 13 went to the home on Thursday. One of the suspect's parents was there, but refused to speak with them.

The 11-year-old boy was taken to a hospital to be checked out. His three other siblings were placed in the care of another family member.

The Henderson couple will be back in court for a status check on May 14.