A couple in Missouri has been arrested for allegedly trapping four children inside small boxes secured with plywood and screws, Fox News reports.
Laura Cheatham and Daryl Head, both 38, are charged with multiple counts of kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child after authorities received a tip from an anonymous caller to report the alleged abuse.
Police went to Cheatham’s house in Farmington, Missouri, and were initially refused entry by Head. When they managed to force their way inside, Cheatham was seen trying to unscrew the plywood that had on to the top of the boxes to free the children.
Officers were horrified by the conditions the kids were being subjected to. “I’ve seen some pretty nasty things, but nothing this deplorable,” according to St. Francois Sheriff Daniel Bullock. “This is the kind of thing that happens somewhere else, not here.”
He added that the children, whose ages range from 6 to 12, had no access to water, window or restrooms, and the house reeked of urine. They were adopted by Cheatham and her ex-husband and had been living at the house for a few weeks.
The kids have been placed in protective custody, according to the Missouri Children’s Division. The couple is being held in the county jail and their bond is set for $500,000 each.
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