Police: Nevada couple locked child in ‘large metal enclosure’

Posted at 8:33 AM, April 30, 2024

HENDERSON (Scripps News Las Vegas) — Officers who arrested a Nevada couple for child abuse documented what they described as “deplorable living conditions,” including a child kept in a “large metal enclosure” and a home covered in feces and trash.

Misty Scanlan, 46, and Jeffery Scanlan, 41, were arrested last week and booked into the Henderson Detention Center for child abuse and neglect.

mugshot of misty and jeff scanlan

Misty and Jeffrey Scanlan booking photos. (Henderson Detention Center via Scripps News Las Vegas)

According to documents released by authorities, the children had been absent from school for a week. When a truancy officer tried to visit the home, they received no answer at the door but could hear a child screaming inside.

When Henderson police responded to the home, they noted 40 minutes passed before Jeffery Scanlan answered the door.

Officers entering the home found “a large enclosure in the living room with metal bars and locked doors, similar to a jail cell,” the arrest report states. They also found an 11-year-old boy inside wearing only a diaper.

Police who searched the home documented seeing feces on the floor and walls, holes in the walls, trash on the floor throughout the home and outside locks on what appeared to be the children’s bedrooms.

Jeffery and Misty Scanlan both told police their children had not been to school for a week because they’d all been sick.

According to the report, the Scanlans’ two youngest children have autism. Both parents told police the children wear diapers and identified that as the source of the feces seen throughout the home.

Jeffery Scanlan told officers his 11-year-old prefers the metal enclosure to his bedroom, the report states. Police were told the couple locks their youngest child in her room at night to sleep, adding that they sometimes duct tape the top of her shirt over her diaper at night so she can’t make a mess.

When asked about cleaning, Jeffery said Misty and their two older sons are in charge of it, as he has a bad back and can’t.

Officers noted Misty “immediately appeared disappointed and made it clear she knew it had not been cleaned recently enough.”

After interviewing both parents, police and representatives from Child Protective Services determined the Scanlans “chose repeatedly to place [their children] into potentially dangerous situations…and placed the two children into deplorable living conditions that directly threatened harm to their health.”

“While Jeffrey and Misty both indicated they were doing what they could with the situation that was in front of them, it was clear based on their statements that Jeffrey and Misty had repeatedly failed to acquire or seek services for assistance with the struggles they experienced with [their children].”

The children were taken by CPS and ultimately placed with a family member for the time being, officers noted.

This story was originally published by Scripps News Las Vegas, an E.W. Scripps Company.

More In: