Couple Arrested For Keeping Four Adopted Children In Plywood Boxes

A Missouri couple has been arrested after it was discovered that they kept four children locked up in plywood boxes for weeks. The children were adopted by the woman and her estranged husband, but she and her boyfriend were living in the home together when they built the makeshift prisons out of plywood an screws. Police were shocked by the 'deplorable' conditions of the home, and the neglect the children suffered.

Police investigated after a call came in to Missouri's Child Abuse Hotline. The anonymous person reported that they had seen the children doing manual labor outside, including tasks not normally suitable for children. One task the children were spotted doing was sawing plywood.

The neighbor suspected abuse was going on in the Farmington home, and police were dispatched to investigate. The police arrived at the home of 38-year-old Laura Cheatham and her boyfriend, 38-year-old Daryl J. Head, who owned the home. Initially, the couple refused to allow the police to enter. The police forced their way into the home.

Once the police were finally able to get inside the home, they discovered Chetham trying to unscrew a plywood box. They then witnessed a child scurry out and hide. As police began removing the plywood, more children began crawling out-- three girls and one boy, ranging in ages 6 through 12 years old.

The kids were being held captive in the 'specially constructed' home-made boxes and did not have access to water, restrooms or windows, according to the officers. Child were urinating in vents in the floor. The house reeked of urine, officers said. The way the plywood was screwed together, there was no way for the children to get out or for anyone to get in to them without using tools.

"I've seen some pretty nasty things, but nothing this deplorable," said St. Francois County Sheriff Daniel Bullock to reporters.

The couple were arrested Tuesday and each has been charged with four counts of child endangerment and kidnapping. Their bond was set at $2 million each. If convicted, they could be sentenced to decades in jail.

The children are not related to either adult, but were adopted previously by Cheatham and her estranged husband. Two of the children are related to each other.

The children were examined and are thankfully in good physical health. The children have been given to the Missouri Children's Division.

Most neighbors in the area said they had no idea of the horrific abuse that was going on inside the home.

"It does make you feel a little bit bad that that was going on across the street from you, and you don't suspect it," said one neighbor.

“When you see a case like this, and you see the conditions the children were living in, even for a day it was way too long," said prosecuting attorney Jerrod Mahurin to WLWT.

"So the fact that they may have been there for weeks, or may have been there for any extended period of time, our sole concern now is to make sure that they are protected and taken care of, and obviously to seek justice of the people putting them in those conditions."

Source: Yahoo
Photos: St. Francis County Police Department, KMOV Screenoshot

Tell Us What You Think

More Fab Stories

A Latina woman trying on a dress in a JC Penney store in Hayward, California discovered she wasn’t alone in the dressing room when a scorpion fell...

A woman in Hopatcong may still be upset about her divorce. The woman was ordered to pay $186 per week in spousal support, and she's very...

There was a time when people kept photo albums for their precious memories. Now, we have Instagram. One young couple on a date at a football game...

Carmen Mendez said she thought about not posting the pic on Thanksgiving, but decided to go ahead since it was a day to give thanks. A few days...

Vietnam Veteran Gary Dixon has Stage 4 lung cancer after being poisoned by Agent Orange while fighting for his country. Now he can’t even get...

Latest Fab Stories

A Florida barber played a joke on a 10-year-old customer in which he pretended to cut the child's ear off. The kid was freaking out in the chair...

A woman used a rather unseemly excuse to avoid work, and now she's paying the price.

In 2015, Caroline Boyle began telling her colleagues...

There is an old saying: "Beware of ex-lovers bearing gifts."

And if it's not an old saying, it should be. If you thought Greeks bearing...

Kathy and Bill Gunn waited nine long years to open a wedding gift. The gift was a white box from Kathy’s great Aunt Alison with an envelope that...

Looking for a job can be a pain, and there is nothing more disheartening than getting a rejection from a prospective employer. No one wants to...