Farmington woman accused of abuse ordered prison uniforms for sm - KMOV.com

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

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Image shows the child's prison uniforms confiscated by police. The larger jump suit is for adults and was placed there by police to show size. (Credit: St. Francois County Sheriff Office) Image shows the child's prison uniforms confiscated by police. The larger jump suit is for adults and was placed there by police to show size. (Credit: St. Francois County Sheriff Office)
Image shows the child's prison uniforms confiscated by police (Credit: St. Francois County Sheriff Office) Image shows the child's prison uniforms confiscated by police (Credit: St. Francois County Sheriff Office)
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, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- The St. Francois Sheriff's Office on Wednesday released further disturbing information after four children were found in small rooms, with no windows or plumbing, police said.

Police said Laura Cheatham, a recent former employee of the Missouri Department of Corrections, ordered four kids-size prison inmate uniforms from the Prison Industries Clothing Division.

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

Cheatham reportedly told the person in charge of the clothing that the uniforms were "for her kids."

Police took custody of the uniforms from officials at Farmington Correctional Center along with cardboard patterns that are marked “kids pants”, ‘kids shirt”.

On Tuesday, police said Daryl Head and Cheatham, both 38-year-old, are charged with multiple counts of kidnapping and endangering the welfare of a child. Four children were found living inside boxes "smaller than a jail cell" with no windows, lighting or plumbing inside a Farmington home, police said.

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.

Photos: St. Louis mugshots

Police said the man would not initially allow them in, but once they got inside, they saw a 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. 

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.  

News 4 learned that Cheatham was an employee at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre. And Head was employed as a community support specialist at the BJC Behavioral Health center in Farmington from July of 2016 to June of 2018.

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. 

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