An Eastern Shore of Virginia woman accused
of keeping her young children in makeshift cages and filthy conditions is out on $10,000 unsecured bond.
A judge required her to seek a mental health evaluation and pursue recommended treatment.
Malista Ness-Hopkins faces charges of felony abuse and neglect. Authorities said two of her kids were caged inside cribs and three others lived in squalor. Social workers removed the children from Ness-Hopkins' home in the small community of Mears in Accomack County when they were discovered in late July. A dog that was showing signs of neglect was also removed from the home during the execution of a search warrant, according to the Accomack County Sheriff's Office.
The 38-year-old woman told authorities that a boyfriend who was the father of some of the children died last year.
The judge in Accomac, a small town about 20 miles south of the Maryland border, sent Ness-Hopkins' case to a grand jury last week.
The investigation into this incident is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Accomack County Sheriff’s Office at 757-787-1131 or 757-824-5666, or tips may be submitted through our website at accomackcountysheriffsoffice.org.