(HUNTINGBURG) – A trial date has been set in Crawford County for a Huntingburg dentist and his wife who is accused of criminal confinement and neglect of their daughter.
The trial is scheduled for November 18, 2019. The trial was moved to Crawford County after Dubois County Circuit Court Judge Nathan Verkamp granted a change of venue last April. The final pretrial conference is set for June 4 and will take place at the Dubois County Circuit Court.
Police arrested 58-year-old Alan Friz and his wife, 37-year-old Aimee Friz, in October and charged them with 11 counts of neglect and 11 counts of criminal confinement. Police found a closet converted into a cage labeled with their child’s name on it in the couple’s home located at 5275 West County Road 700 South. Police say a wooden cage contained a mattress and a pan for the child to use as a restroom. The child told police she was locked in the cage during the night.
During the investigation, the teen told police her father had also sexually assaulted her.
The alleged crime:
According to the probable cause affidavit, Aimee Friz referenced that the child was mentally disabled, basing on an online search the couple made. The affidavit also states the couple said they were “trying to find a placement for the child.”
Police went to the home after a report came in that the girl, who was “mentally retarded”, was out of control. When officers arrived, they spoke with her parents and found the teenage girl in the garage.
The girl told police that her grandfather was angry because she was bouncing a ball in the house. The grandfather took the ball and wouldn’t give it back. The grandfather said she was disruptive to the other children who were studying. The two then got into a scuffle, and both ended up on the floor. Then the police were called.
While deputies interviewed Aimee Friz, she told them the girl had made threats about killing her and her unborn child. When officers offered to take the girl to the hospital for evaluation, Aimee Friz told them they were attempting to find the girl help on their own.
Deputies contacted Division of Family and Children regarding the incident, and a teen did a forensic interview the same day. During the interview, the girl told investigators she was forced to sleep in a cage at night and other times. She described the cage and told investigators where they would find it.
After being granted a search warrant, deputies contacted the Indiana State Police to assist with the search of the home. During the search, officers located a wooden cage in a closet of a bedroom in the home. It was described as being about 4-by-8 in size and had a mattress in it. The girl’s name was above the entrance. It did not have running water or electricity, and a pan was left for the girl to use as a bathroom while she was in it. During those times, the cage was locked with a padlock and chain.
After locating the cage, deputies arrested Alan Friz. Friz admitted they had locked the teen in the cage overnight, but it was to protect his wife and other children because the girl made threats to harm them.
The Division of Family and Child Services arrived to remove the other children, but found that Amiee Friz had fled while police were gathering information. Dubois County Dispatch was directed to ping her cell phone in an attempt to locate her. An officer contacted her, and she was told to return home with the children, but she hung up on the officer.
She was finally located in St. Louis and ordered to bring the children back to Indiana.