Police: Kids found barricaded in house with no windows, light or - KMOV.com

Police: Kids found barricaded in house with no windows, light or plumbing

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38-year-old Daryl Justen Head and 38-year-old Laura Elizabeth Cheatham have each been charged with 5-Counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child Creating Substantial Risk 1st Degree and 3-Counts of Kidnapping 2nd Degree (Credit: Farmington PD) 38-year-old Daryl Justen Head and 38-year-old Laura Elizabeth Cheatham have each been charged with 5-Counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child Creating Substantial Risk 1st Degree and 3-Counts of Kidnapping 2nd Degree (Credit: Farmington PD)
FARMINGTON (KMOV.com) -

A man and woman are accused of keeping four children inside boxes "smaller than a jail cell" with no windows, lighting or plumbing at a Farmington home.

Daryl Head, 38, and Laura Cheatham, 38, are both charged with multiple counts of kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child.

The St. Francois County Sheriff’s Office said officers, along with the Missouri Children’s Division Investigators went to a home in the 100 block of Meadowbrook Drive on Tuesday. A hotline call alleged children were being kept inside boxes that were sealed shut with plywood and screws.

Read: Farmington woman accused of abuse ordered prison uniforms for small kids, police say

Police said a 38-year-old man initially would not allow them in, but once they got inside, they saw a 38-year-old woman removing screws and plywood that covered the entrance to several spaces. Children then came out of the spaces, police said.

“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."

Three girls and one boy, all between ages 5-12, were being held in “specially constructed” spaces that had no windows or lighting, police say.

The spaces had no plumbing, and officers said they believe the children had to use vents in the floor for bathrooms. 

Neighbors said they saw the children doing manual labor frequently, and one resident said he saw them sawing plywood at some point. 

Both Head and Cheatham were arrested.

Photos: St. Louis mugshots

Investigators said the children appeared to be in relatively good health, and officers believe they were at the house for a couple weeks. The children were adopted by Cheatham and her estranged husband, according to the sheriff's office.  

Right now the couple is facing four counts each of second-degree kidnapping and endangerment of a child. Their bond is set for $500,000 for each count. 
Prosecutors are not ruling out more charges. 

The children have been placed in government care. 

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