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Four Missouri children locked up in boxes secured with plywood and screws, police say; 2 arrested

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.

A couple in Missouri allegedly caught four children into boxes, secured with plywood and screws in a house, in what a sheriff described Tuesday as “deplorable” conditions.

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

St. Francois County Sheriff Daniel Bullock told reporters that he feared for the children can be kept in the homemade boxes for weeks. He said the children, whose ages range from 6-12, had no access to water, toilets or windows, and the house reeked of urine.

“I have some pretty nasty things, but nothing of this is regrettable,” the sheriff added.

He said that 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.

Law enforcement responded earlier Tuesday after someone called Missouri’s Child Abuse Hotline report of a house in Farmington, Fox 2 reported.

When researchers tried to the house, Head reportedly would not let them on the first. Eventually they said that they saw Cheatham unscrewing the plywood that the boxes close.

The four children are placed in the care of Missouri’s Children’s Division.

Farmington is about an hour’s drive south of St. Louis.

Fox News’ Mike Arroyo contributed to this report.

Paulina Dedaj is a writer/ reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @PaulinaDedaj.

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