Boy found handcuffed on porch with dead chicken on his neck, police say
By Simon Moya-Smith, Staff Writer, NBC News
11-year-old boy who was handcuffed to a porch with a dead chicken
draped around his neck was found by a deputy searching for a loose pig,
authorities said Saturday.
A Union County sheriff's deputy had
responded to a complaint of swine roaming a resident's yard in Monroe,
N.C., when the deputy saw the boy handcuffed and shivering. The child
was discovered around 9:30 a.m. local time in frigid temperatures, Capt.
Ronnie Whitaker told NBC News.
Dorian Lee Harper, the boy's
foster parent, emerged and asked the deputy why he was there, Whitaker
said. The deputy asked the 57-year-old man for identification. Another
child opened the door, releasing several dogs that chased the deputy
back to his cruiser, Whitaker said.
By the time back-up units arrived and the dogs were secured, the man
had removed the 11-year-old boy from the porch, but left the dead
chicken on a nearby barrel, Whitaker said.
Deputies searched the
house and found five children, ages 14, 13, 11, 9 and 8. The children
were taken from the home and the man was placed under arrest.
A second foster parent, Wanda Sue Larson, 57, was not home at the
time of the incident, but was arrested when she arrived later at the
Both are charged with intentional child abuse,
inflicting serious injury, false imprisonment and cruelty to animals,
according to a police report.
Larson is a supervisor with the Union County Department of Social Services, and Harper is an emergency room nurse.
is accused of being complicit in mistreatment of the children. She also
was charged with willful failure to discharge her duty as a public
Carolina's Healthcare System confirmed Saturday that Harper has been placed on administrative leave, NBC station WCNC of Charlotte reported.
said that because of the investigation he could not disclose whether
Harper could explain why the boy was handcuffed to the porch and a dead
chicken was hanging on his neck.
Harper and Larson adopted four of
the children. The pair had been fostering the fifth, the child
handcuffed to the porch, WCNC reported.
Sheriff Eddie Cathey called the case "shocking."
can assure you that we have only just begun our investigation into what
has happened, and we will pursue it to its fullest extent," he told
Harper and Larson were being held in the Union County Jail.
Harper's bail was set to $500,000, and Larson's was set at $525,000. The
five children are with an undisclosed social services agency outside of
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