New details are emerging a month after a North Carolina boy was found handcuffed to a porch in Union County with a dead chicken tied to his neck.
According to WRAL in Raleigh, months before the boy was found, teachers at his former school tried to alert authorities that he may be a victim of child neglect.
The boy’s guardians, Wanda Sue Larson and Dorian Harper, have been indicted on 21 charges in connection with abuse that investigators say occurred in their home between August and November.
They’re also accused of chaining him to a piece of railroad track in his room – he once broke his wrist trying to escape – and Harper is accused of cutting the boy’s face with a knife and using an electric wire to burn his face.
Both have been fired from their respective jobs as a supervisor with the local Department of Social Services and an emergency room nurse.
The boy and four other children are in custody of the Davidson County Division of Social Services.
According to WRAL, Bob Goodale, a former corporate executive and deputy secretary of the state Department of Commerce, said Friday that he’s “appalled” by the allegations, especially because he tried to alert state officials to possible abuse more than a year ago.
Goodale’s daughter is a teacher at Union Academy Charter School in Monroe, where the boy attended, and she contacted him for help because of his connections in state government.
She said she and other faculty members noticed that the boy and other children living in the home were continually dirty and hungry. They were worried about child neglect, particularly after the children were pulled from the school to be home-schooled.
WRAL News obtained an email chain confirming that Goodale contacted the state Division of Social Services about the Union County case, but there’s no indication that the state ever followed up with the Union Academy teachers.