CRIME

Sheriff: Initial investigations of child allegedly kept in cage didn't produce enough evidence

This image shows the property outside Laramie, Wyo., on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, where a 7-year-old child was allegedly kept in an outdoor cage behind the residence. A man and a woman face felony charges on allegations that they kept the child in an outdoor cage on and off for three weeks, forcing the child to sleep in the enclosure even during rainstorms. (AP Photo/Laramie Boomerang, Jeremy Martin)

This image shows the property outside Laramie, Wyo., on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, where a 7-year-old child was allegedly kept in an outdoor cage behind the residence. A man and a woman face felony charges on allegations that they kept the child in an outdoor cage on and off for three weeks, forcing the child to sleep in the enclosure even during rainstorms. (AP Photo/Laramie Boomerang, Jeremy Martin)  (The Associated Press)

Authorities say investigators didn't have enough evidence until last month to take custody of a 7-year-old Wyoming boy who was allegedly kept in an outdoor cage, despite requests last year to check on his welfare.

The Laramie Daily Boomerang reported Thursday (http://tinyurl.com/nsbfthf) Albany County Sheriff Dave O'Malley expressed frustration that deputies couldn't act sooner, but initial investigations didn't provide enough evidence.

Authorities took the boy into protective custody July 24 and arrested his mother and her boyfriend on child-abuse charges.

Authorities say the child was kept in the 6-by-6-foot cage off and on for three weeks. O'Malley says he's been told the boy is doing well now.

The Associated Press typically does not identify abuse victims and is withholding the suspects' names to avoid identifying the child.