Couple jailed after 4 Missouri children found in windowless rooms

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

Missouri couple Laura Cheatham, 38, and Daryl Head, 38, were arrested Tuesday for allegedly keeping four children inside small boxes, according to KMOV.

The man and woman were taken into police custody.

"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. No plumbing. The kids might have used floor vents for restroom purposes, authorities suggested. Based on information alleged in the hotline report, investigators believed that children within the home were being confined in rooms secured with plywood and screws.

Laura Cheatham, 38, and Daryl J. Head, 38, were arrested and charged with eight counts of child endangerment and kidnapping.

The sheriff tells us Cheatham adopted the four kids in the home with her ex-husband.

"Reactive attachment disorders can be really challenging for parents", said Dr. Jennifer Ladage, a SLUCare pediatrician at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.

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The children, between the ages of 6 and 12, were taken into protective custody. Cheatham and Head are being held in the county jail on $500,000 bail each.

Investigators learned on Wednesday, August 8 that in January of 2018, Laura Cheatham, a recent former employee of the Missouri Department of Corrections, placed an order with Prison Industries Clothing Division for four kids size prison inmate uniforms.

"I've seen some pretty nasty things, but nothing this deplorable", said St. Francois Sheriff Daniel Bullock, KMOV-TV reported. "This is the kind of thing that happens somewhere else, and not here".

The children are now under the care of Missouri's Children's Division.

The charges could put the suspects behind bars for decades, prosecuting attorney Jerrod Mahurin said.

Tuesday, outside the couple's Middle Brook Drive home, neighbors said they had no idea the children were allegedly being kept in such horrific conditions.

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