A 4-year-old Texas boy is now in protective custody after being rescued from a reputed drug house where he was allegedly forced to live inside a closet — with his only visitors the rats and cockroaches that infested the dilapidated home.
The boy’s court appointed attorney tells PEOPLE the boy told authorities who found him that the pests were “his friends.”
“Considering the circumstances, he is doing good,” says Rachel Leal-Hudson, the attorney representing the 4-year-old. She added that her goal is for the child to “have as normal a life as possible.” He is being monitored closely by doctors, according to the Harris County Constable’s Office.
Authorities allege the Houston house where they found the boy was used to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine. Officers raided the home, finding the locked closet door and the child inside.
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Leal-Hudson tells PEOPLE it is not known how long the boy was in the closet, but she alleged he was sometimes left inside for hours at a time.
His 32-year-old mother, April Burrier, was not in the house at the time of the raid. She was arrested when she returned to the house and was charged with endangering a child, according to the Harris County Constable’s Office.
It was unclear Wednesday if she had entered a plea to the charge or had an attorney who could comment on her behalf. She is being held on an unknown amount of bail.
Authorities say the home’s alleged owner, Daniel Clark Morris III, remains at large, and they are asking for the public’s help in finding him.
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Police allege that drug paraphernalia and sex toys were found right outside the closet.
The boy also alleged to authorities he was forced to sit on top of a tall refrigerator as punishment for sneaking out of that closet. He said he was afraid he would fall asleep and plummet to the floor.
The boy’s father is allegedly trying to regain custody of his child.
PEOPLE’s attempts to reach the father Wednesday were unsuccessful.
The case will be back in court next month.