A woman is accused of locking four young children in a dog cage in a North Dakota basement and turning out the lights as punishment.

KFGO radio reports (http://bit.ly/1GbGAiq ) that 23-year-old Jordan McKay Nelson is charged with four counts of abuse and neglect of a child, and felonious restraint.

Court documents say the children, aged from 5 to 9 years, were held under "terrorizing conditions" and that at least one of them was forced to eat dog food.

During a police interview, a boy drew a picture of himself in the kennel with the words "help me."

A police affidavit says Nelson is in a relationship with the children's biological mother. Her lawyer did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

A preliminary hearing is set for April 13.

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Information from: KFGO-AM, http://www.kfgo.com