Missouri police arrested two people after discovering four children living in boarded-up rooms that were "smaller than a jail cell" and had no windows, lights or plumbing. Daryl Justen Head and Laura Elizabeth Cheatham were charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child and three counts of kidnapping.
When authorities showed up at the home, they were initially denied entry by Head, but after they were let inside, officers saw Cheatham removing a plywood covering from the “specially constructed” rooms where three girls and one boy were being held. The children were between the ages of five and 12 and had been adopted by Cheatham and her estranged husband.
The kids appeared to be in good health and police believe they had been at the home for a few weeks.
According to KMOV, neighbors reported seeing the children sawing plywood and doing other manual labor around the yard for Head and Cheatham.
“I’ve seen some pretty nasty things, but nothing this deplorable," said St. Francois Sheriff Daniel Bullock. "This is the kind of thing that happens somewhere else, not here."
Head and Cheatham are currently being held on a $500,000 bond and authorities said they could face more charges.
Photo: Farmington Police Department