November 18, 2013 Updated: November 18, 2013 at 4:36 pm
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The neighbor of a Union County couple accused of handcuffing an 11-year-old boy to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck says the children in the home "looked pitiful."
Wanda Sue Larson and Dorian Lee Harper were arrested Friday after a deputy found the boy. The couple adopted four kids and were foster parents to the 11-year-old. They appeared in court Monday, with bond set at just under $1 million.
Joyce Bigham says the couple live across the street, but the house is set back and isn't visible. Bigham says she and her husband see the children only when they run in the street to retrieve their dogs. She describes them as dressed like orphans.
Bigham says had she known of problems at the home, she would have reported them.
The Union County sheriff's office says it appears the 11-year-old boy found handcuffed to the porch was routinely handcuffed in the home.
Sheriff's Capt. Cody Luke also told The Charlotte Observer on Sunday (http://bit.ly/1gXS78) that human waste was found on the home's floor.
Larson is a supervisor with Union County Department of Social Services.
The couple is charged with intentional child abuse inflicting injury, false imprisonment and cruelty to animals.
The children, ranging in age from 8 to 14, have been removed from the home and have been placed with a social services agency outside Union County since Larson worked with the local department of social services..
Sheriff Eddie Cathey said he's trying to determine how long the abuse had been occurring at the home.