ALBANY TOWNSHIP — Richard and Mary Beth Frankenfield of Albany Township are locked up in Bradford County for allegedly keeping their 12-year-old daughter inside a make-shift cage and then locking her in a closet.
State police say the abuse happened inside the couple’s house on Route 220 near Dushore. Troopers say the child has cerebral palsy, and the couple said they locked her up to protect her from getting into things.
According to court papers, starting in 2010, the Frankenfields began keeping their daughter in a cage they made by nailing a plywood board over a crib.
Investigators say when the girl turned 11, they started locking her in a four-foot-wide closet. The couple was arrested and charged with false imprisonment of a child and endangering the welfare of a child.
This is not Richard Frankenfield’s first run-in with the law. According to court papers, he was in jail a few years ago in Bucks County for indecent assault of a child. After he was released from jail, he was put on the Megan’s Law list for registered sex offenders.
Some people who know the couple say they are horrified.
“It’s disgusting. She is such a sweet little girl. I can’t believe someone would do something like that to her,” Ashley Colegrove said.
“Literally sick to my stomach that somebody could treat a child in need like her that way,” Dena Colegrove of New Albany said.
Dena Colegrove knows the Frankenfields from seeing them drop their kids off at school.
“And they would scream at her, ‘C’mon, let’s go.’ If she’d trip or fall, they’d tell her to get up and let’s go. They talked to her terribly,” Dena said.
“I was just mortified with it. People like that should be locked away with the keys thrown out. They’re not human to do stuff like that,” Joe Hoover said.
Richard and Mary Beth Frankenfield are locked up in the Bradford County jail. They are scheduled to appear in court next week.