Dougherty Co. police continue investigation on child locked in room

Dougherty Co. police continuing investigation on child locked in room

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Dougherty County police are working to find answers after five children were taken from a home, where they said child abuse was happening.

Investigators say they will continue to conduct interviews and find out more background information to try and find a motive.

“We don’t always get those in crimes against children cases, but that’s the goal is to find if there was a motive and what was it,” said Detective Cpl. Calvin Hodge Jr.

The Dougherty County Police Department said Gary and Gwendolyn Warren reported their foster child missing Saturday after the child ran away.

Arrested: Gary and Gwendolyn Warren
Arrested: Gary and Gwendolyn Warren (Source: WALB)

Detective Hodge said they went to the home to collect information about the child’s interests, friends, family, and school.

“During that time we discovered a room that we could only say was questionable because of the condition of the room and then also the locking mechanism to get inside the room and then also with the door handle being removed that brought up reason for concern,” said Hodge.

They said searching a child’s home is common when they’re reported missing. Often a child may have fallen asleep in a closet or were hiding from parents.

He said that wasn’t the case here.

Detective Corporal Calvin Hodge Jr. with Dougherty County Police Department
Detective Corporal Calvin Hodge Jr. with Dougherty County Police Department (Source: WALB)

“Forensic interviews were conducted with the children. Further investigation was done, which led us to understand that a child had been locked in the room for an unknown amount of time,” said Hodge.

Detective Hodge said they interviewed the parents.

After speaking with them, he said they had enough evidence to charge them for false imprisonment and cruelty to children in the first degree.

The Warrens adopted the five children last year. Investigators said one was locked in the room.

“Right now, the kids have all been removed from the residents and have been placed with the Division of Family and Children Services. I can update and tell you all that the kids are doing well,” said Hodge.

Investigators said more charges could come in the case. If you see something unusual, you can call crime stoppers, DFACS, or file a complaint anonymously.

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