KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 24-year-old mother was in custody Saturday after her two young children were found barefoot, dirty and living in a wooden shipping crate in an underground cave on the eastern edge of Kansas City, Missouri.

Brittany Mugrauer was charged Friday night with two counts of felony child endangerment.

Jackson County detectives discovered the 4- and 6-year-old children Thursday in the 8- by 10-foot crate furnished with vehicle bench seats, two small blankets, trash and thin wires. According to the probable cause statement, the crate was missing one side and surrounded by car parts and vehicles in various states of disrepair.

Investigators went to the cave to serve a search warrant related to a possible stolen car operation. Mugrauer told investigators that her children had been living in the cave for several days and acknowledged leaving them there alone, the probable cause statement says.

The children were taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital, where they were evaluated.