Child-sized prisoner uniforms ordered by Missouri woman accused of child abuse, authorities say

On the left are the small prisoner uniforms, which the authorities say Laura Cheatham ordered for the four adopted children living in her house. On the right is an adult-size uniform added to the equation.

(St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department)

More details emerged Wednesday about a Missouri couple accused of child abuse for allegedly housing four children in specially constructed windowless rooms, with no lighting, that were held closed with plywood and screws.

The authorities, said Laura Elizabeth Cheatham, 38, a former employee of the Missouri Department of Corrections had ordered, child-sized convict style prisoner uniforms, in gray and orange, for the children to wear, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

“The researchers with this department took custody of the uniforms of the officials in Farmington Correctional Center, together with cardboard patterns that are marked with ‘kids’ pants,’ the ‘kids shirt,’ etc., and the work order documentation”, a publication of the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department said.

Woman accused of child abuse in Farmington, ordered prison uniforms for children

— FOX2now (@FOX2now) August 9, 2018

Both Cheatham and Daryl Justen Head, 38, were charged Tuesday after police responded to a call made to a child abuse hotline.

Within the next couple Farmington, Mo., at home, the police found four children, ages 5 to 12, apparently being held in the makeshift rooms without access to water or toilets, according to a sheriff of the province. Farmington is about 60 miles south of St. Louis.

Daryl J. Head, left, and Laura Cheatham were brought after the children were found in what the sheriff described as “deplorable” conditions in their home.

(St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department)

“As soon as the researchers gained entry into the house, they discovered a 38-year-old woman removing the screws from the plywood for the entrance of the small rooms and the children come out from behind the plywood,” St. Francois Sheriff Daniel Bullock said in a press release.

Cheatham and Head were each charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child and three counts of kidnapping. They were held on $ 500,000 bond each.

Var said the four children, three girls and a boy, is adopted by Cheatham and her estranged husband, but she was sitting with another man — Head — in the house. Two of the four children are related to each other, but not related to the adults, the sheriff added.


The costs were the suspects behind bars for decades, the public prosecutor Jerrod Mahurin said.

“I have some pretty nasty things, but nothing of this is regrettable,” Rund said. “This is the kind of thing that happens somewhere else, not here.”

“I have some pretty nasty things, but nothing, this is regrettable. This is the kind of thing that happens somewhere else, not here.”

– St. Francois County Sheriff Daniel Bullock

Var each room is described as “smaller than a prison cell.” He said that they had changed from two double bedrooms and offered no windows, lighting, or access to toilets and water. It turned out that the children urinated in the air vents in the room, ” he said.

St. Francois County Prosecutor Jerrod Mahurin said the couple could face more charges after the first studies are completed.

Var said that the children appeared in “fairly good” shape, and are in state custody. She had previously been approved by Cheatham and her estranged husband and lived in the house for a few weeks, he said. Neighbors told KMOV that she sometimes saw the children outside doing manual labor.

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj and the Associated Press contributed to this story.

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