4 Missouri children found in plywood boxes

6 months 1 week 2 days ago Wednesday, August 08 2018 Aug 8, 2018 Wednesday, August 08, 2018 9:50:00 PM CDT August 08, 2018 in News
By: The Associated Press

FARMINGTON, Mo. (AP) — Police responding to a call to a child abuse hotline at a southeast Missouri home found four children apparently being kept behind plywood in makeshift rooms with no access to water or toilets, according to a county sheriff.

St. Francois County sheriff's officers and investigators with the Missouri Department of Social Services found the three girls and one boy, between the ages of 5 and 12, on Tuesday in a home in Farmington, about 60 miles (95 kilometers) south of St. Louis.

"Once investigators gained entry into the home, they discovered a 38-year-old female removing screws from plywood covering the entrance to small rooms and children coming out from behind the plywood," the sheriff said in a news release.

A man and woman who lived in the home, Daryl Justen Head and Laura Elizabeth Cheatham, both 38, were charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child and three counts of kidnapping. They are being held on $500,000 bond each.

"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."

Bullock described each room as "smaller than a jail cell." He said they had been modified from two bedrooms and offered no windows, lighting, or access to toilets or water. It appeared the children urinated into vents in the room, he said.

St. Francois County Prosecutor Jerrod Mahurin said the couple could face more charges after initial investigations are complete.

Bullock said the children appeared to be in "fairly good" shape and were taken into state custody. They had previously been adopted by Cheatham and her estranged husband and had lived in the home for a few weeks, he said. Neighbors told KMOV that they sometimes saw the children outside doing manual labor.

Head and Cheatham were being held in lieu of $500,000 bail each.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Even with slick sidewalks and snowy roads, runners still showed up for Mizzou's Rockin' Against Multiple Sclerosis 5K... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 2:54:00 PM CST February 16, 2019 in News
(CNN) -- Sixty-three more people have been infected with salmonella linked to raw turkey products in an outbreak that began... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 12:27:00 PM CST February 16, 2019 in News
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has defrocked former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after Vatican officials found him guilty of... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 7:25:00 AM CST February 16, 2019 in News
SARCOXIE, Mo. (AP) — The Jasper County prosecutor on Thursday charged a 23-year-old English teacher at Sarcoxie High School with... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 9:56:18 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Battle High School's Girls Wrestling team will make history by competing in the first high school girls state... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 8:56:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The first snow system has come to an end and two more are on the way in less... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 8:25:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in Weather
COLUMBIA - Despite the treacherous conditions, some people have no choice but to drive in weather like Friday's. "My... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 6:48:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — The Humane Society of Missouri rescued 21 dogs and 21 cats from a property in western Missouri Friday.... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 5:42:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Another winter blast hit Missouri Friday, causing multiple accidents, closing schools and leaving highway experts... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 4:03:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in Top Stories
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A traffic stop for following too close led to troopers seizing oxycodone, THC wax, shatter, a product... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 3:04:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Ameren Missouri said several thousand jobs will be created as part of an effort to upgrade its... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 1:49:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA – The cold weather doesn't just affect road conditions, but fuel economy as well. According to the U.S Department... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 1:48:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and border security (all times local): 2:33 p.m. President... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 1:43:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
CAMDENTON (AP) — The parents of two suburban Kansas City victims of a Lake of the Ozarks boat crash have... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 1:14:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Agencies across mid-Missouri are responding to snowfall. Updates appear here in reverse chronological order, with the newest... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 12:20:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Attorneys for Sen. Josh Hawley asked a Cole County judge to quash a subpoena in connection with... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 11:32:00 AM CST February 15, 2019 in News
MEXICO, Mo. — The Mexico Public Safety Department responded to a fire at 1:19 a.m. Friday at the Hardee’s on... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 7:02:00 AM CST February 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Approaching winter weather may have an impact on the Missouri State High School Wrestling Championships. The championships... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 14 2019 Feb 14, 2019 Thursday, February 14, 2019 10:07:00 PM CST February 14, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 28°
5pm 33°
6pm 32°
7pm 31°
8pm 31°