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Child found cuffed to porch with dead chicken hanging around his neck

By: The Associated Press
November 18, 2013 Updated: November 18, 2013 at 4:36 pm
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photo - Dorian Lee Harper is seen in an undated phto provided by the Union County, N.C. Sheriff's Office. Harper and Wanda Sue Larson, a North Carolina social worker, were arrested Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 after a foster child was found cuffed by the ankle to Larson's front porch in Monroe, N.C., with a dead chicken hanging from around his neck. Larson and Harper are charged with numerous offenses after a sheriff's deputy found the shivering 11-year-old boy. Larson is a supervisor with Union County Department of Social Services. The couple, both 57, adopted four children and were serving as foster parents to the fifth child. The children, ages 8 to 14, have been removed from the home. (AP Photo/Union County, N.C. Sheriff's Office)
Dorian Lee Harper is seen in an undated phto provided by the Union County, N.C. Sheriff's Office. Harper and Wanda Sue Larson, a North Carolina social worker, were arrested Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 after a foster child was found cuffed by the ankle to Larson's front porch in Monroe, N.C., with a dead chicken hanging from around his neck. Larson and Harper are charged with numerous offenses after a sheriff's deputy found the shivering 11-year-old boy. Larson is a supervisor with Union County Department of Social Services. The couple, both 57, adopted four children and were serving as foster parents to the fifth child. The children, ages 8 to 14, have been removed from the home. (AP Photo/Union County, N.C. Sheriff's Office) 

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.

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