According to Sheriff Eddie Cathey, a boy was found in frigid weather last month after neighbors had filed a complaint about animals running loose at a home just outside of Monroe, North Carolina. A deputy found the boy when he was looking for a pig that had been reported loose on the property. The child had been handcuffed to a porch and was shivering and he had a dead chicken around his neck.

Harper and Larson

A deputy had been interviewing Dorian Lee Harper about the boy when another child opened the door and released several dogs that chased the deputy away. When more deputies arrived and searched the home they found five children ages 14, 13, 11, 9, and 8. Harper and Wanda Sue Larson both 57 years old, had adopted four of the children and had been foster parents to the fifth child which is the one found handcuffed to the porch.

Harper is an emergency room nurse and Larson is a supervisor with the Union County Department of Social Services. Sheriff Cathey stated that his deputies had a good working relationship with Larson and that both Larson and Harper were well-respected in their professions.

All five of the children were taken into custody by a social services department from another county. Both Harper and Larson are being charged with intentional child abuse, inflicting serious injury, false imprisonment and cruelty to animals. Larson is also charged with willful failure to discharge her duty as a public official.

“It’s shocking to see how they lived,” said Cathey. “The conditions were horrible. Trash, filth, animals and animal waste inside and outside that house.”

He went on to say, “This investigation has only just begun. We are fortunate that we were called. Sooner or later this situation could have ended in a child’s death.”

Just knowing how this little boy was being abused is horrible but knowing that the woman involved in this was not only an employee at the Social Services Department but she was a supervisor, makes it even harder to accept. As taxpayers we depend on these people to protect the children, NOT abuse them.

How was this woman ever allowed to be a foster parent in the first place? It appalls me. It makes me sick, knowing that the state was paying this woman and she was abusing a child instead of protecting him. I thank God the child was found before he died and I pray that these two people are put away for a very long time. I also pray that these children are being better taken care of now, where ever they are. God please watch over these kids.

Jan Barrett

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