A baby around one and a half years old was found locked in a cage in an apartment in Haifa, police said Monday.
Pillows and one of the child's bottles were found in the cage as well.
The child's mother, who wasn't in the apartment, was brought to the scene and arrested on charges of false imprisonment, helpless neglect and abuse.
A large amount of the illegal drug crystal meth was also found near where the baby was locked up.
The baby was discovered Sunday night after police officers from Nazareth and Haifa went looking for drugs in residential complexes in the city. At the same time, in the same complex, while searching a residence on the ground floor where parents live alongside six children, a child around one and a half years old was found in a large iron cage with a lock in one of the rooms.
"Police officers who came looking for drugs in Haifa residential complexes were horrified to find a baby locked in an iron cage."Israel Police statement
"Police officers who came looking for drugs in Haifa residential complexes were horrified to find a baby locked in an iron cage," police said in a statement.
"A search was carried out, where substances suspected of being crystal meth and hashish [marijuana] were seized in an amount greater than for personal consumption."
The suspects arrested at the scene are all Haifa residents aged 22 and 27.
Why was the baby locked in a cage?
The mother tried to explain that she locked the child in a cage because she "had no choice," Haifa police officer Cpl. Yossi Atias said, according to Ynet.
She reportedly said that she left the home and left him in the care of her children, so "this is her way of looking after him." Attias explained the child was in the cage for several days, noting that the case was no more than half a meter in size, Ynet reported.