Investigators seize cabinets and other items at child abuse suspect's home in West Knox County

3:09 AM, Jun 5, 2013   |    comments
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  • Jessica Cox leaves the courtroom where her bonded arraignment hearing was held Tuesday, June 4, 2013.

A West Knox County woman accused of handcuffing, burning, and beating her two step-children appeared in court Tuesday one week after she was arrested and charged with child abuse.

Tuesday morning's court hearing was just one of a couple of events related to the investigation of 36-year-old Jessica Ann Cox.

While Cox was in court with her husband Mike McIntosh by her side, the Knox County Sheriff's Office was executing a search warrant on the couple's home near Farragut.  Investigators spent the day dismantling pieces of the trailer where Cox lived with McIntosh and his two biological sons. 

KCSO removed several bags of evidence and also removed the kitchen cabinets.  Those cabinets are where affidavits indicate Cox is accused of handcuffing the 16-year-old and 14-year-old victims together on numerous occasions.  The arrest records also contain accusations that Cox burned the two boys with cigarettes and incense, including burns to very sensitive body parts. Furthermore, she is accused of bashing the tops of the 16-year-old's feet with a "rubber mallet and/or wooden rolling pin."

The two victims escaped from their home while handcuffed together one week ago.  They eventually found a helping hand more than three miles away at Farragut High School where custodian Richard Huff called 911.

"I'm here at Farragut High School. I've got two little boys here," said Huff in the 911 recording.  "They're handcuffed together. Their parents have handcuffed them together."

Knox County School records show the 16-year-old victim was a student at Farragut High School, but he was no longer enrolled as of February 27, 2013.  Knox County Schools said it cannot legally disclose who chose to end the victim's enrollment.  The school system also cannot publicize the reason given why the boy was leaving school.

For now, the courts have pulled the boys out the care of Jessica Cox.  Tuesday morning the judge set a preliminary hearing for July 19.   In the meantime, Cox remains out on bond and is not allowed to have any contact with the victims or listed witnesses in the case.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the victims' biological father, Mike McIntosh, was contacted by the Knox County Sheriff's Office and permitted to retrieve pets from the dismantled home rather than have Animal Control seize the animals.  As of now, McIntosh has not been charged with any crimes in the case.

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