HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Two parents are behind bars after State Police say their four-year-old child had been abused and neglected for a lengthy period of time.
Jason Sadler, 38, and Jessica Melton, 31, both of Huntington, are charged with child neglect and abuse resulting in injury.
According to the criminal complaint, West Virginia State Police were notified in November 2016 of a CPS investigation involving the child. Investigators say the child was found to have nutrition deprivation, all of his ribs could be seen and his hair was thin and absent in some areas.
Troopers say the child told a CPS worker he had to get his own food and was made to hide in a closet when people came to the apartment where they lived.
According to the criminal complaint, both Sadler and Melton were reported to have had a long history of chronic drug abuse.
Troopers say CPS also discovered the child missed medical checkups, a referral for treatment of a serious eye condition and was behind on immunizations.
According to court documents, the child gained only four pounds from April 2014 to April 2016.
During a State Police interview in November 2016, the child told troopers people would visit the home "all the time" and his mother would lock him inside a bathroom closet. He would not be let out until everyone left the home.
The child said his father would also put him in the closet.
According to the criminal complaint, the investigating trooper believes the abuse and neglect caused the child to lose weight, have other health issues and possible emotional distress.
Both Sadler and Melton were taken to Western Regional Jail, where they are being held on $200,000 cash-only bond.
Neighbor Tona Hill says it's a sad reminder that you don't know what kids are going through behind closed doors.
"The fact that I passed by every day, and I was unaware that there was a kid who was being locked in a closet as I passed by, it's kind of disturbing," she said.