Kansas woman arrested after her children, 4 & 6, found barefoot & filthy in cave

© Lucy Nicholson
A woman from Kansas City has been jailed after police found her two children living in a wooden shipping crate in a damp cave. The kids, ages four and six, were barefoot and filthy and had no drinking water.

24-year-old Brittany Mugrauer was charged with two counts of child welfare endangerment.

Her children were discovered Thursday in a cave by deputy sheriffs investigating a possible auto parts "chop shop" outside Kansas City, according to the Jackson County prosecutor's office.

The four-year-old child was using hands while eating a cup of dry ramen noodles with dirt, investigators said. The other child, six, told the detectives that he was supposed to enter first grade at school but he didn’t.

The children were not wearing any shoes, saying that didn’t have any. The investigators also didn’t find any drinkable water in the cave.

There were only vehicle bench seats, two small blankets, trash and thin wires in the crater, which was missing one side and surrounded by car parts, the probable cause statement said, as cited by AP.

"It's tunnels, it's dark, and there's tunnels in various configurations," a man, who identified himself as Tyrone, told KCTV5 News.

Both told the detectives that their mother, Brittany, was living in a cave with them. However, she wasn’t in the cave when the police found the children as she took her boyfriend Sean to hospital because he "smashed his finger," according to KCTV5 News.

Mugrauer acknowledged to the police that she left her children and that they were living in the cave for several days. The prosecutors set her bond at $75,000.

The children were taken to Children's Mercy Hospital where they were bathed and given clean clothes.