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CANTON, Ohio (WJW) – A year-long investigation into child abuse led to the arrest of two people in Canton.

In August of 2019, Child Protective Services contacted Canton police about three children in a home they believed were being abused.

Canton detectives found evidence that a 7-year-old girl was being locked in a dog cage in the basement as a form of punishment.

According to information from Canton police, the cage was secured with a padlock.

Police say the child weighed just 28 pounds.

Police also believe the same child was subject to excessive discipline that included using a wooden sign.

Two other children were removed from the home.

Police do not believe they suffered similar punishment.

A Stark County grand jury returned an indictment on Lillian Cottrell, 29, and Derek Mayle, 30, on Monday. Police say Cottrell is the 7-year-old’s mother; Mayle is Cottrell’s boyfriend.

The indictment is for a 3rd-degree felony charge of endangering children.

The two are now in custody.

Cottrell and Mayle are scheduled for arraignment in Stark County Common Pleas Court Friday.

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