Associated Press Published

Adoptive Parents Charged With Felony Neglect After 3 Children Found Alone In Dangerous Conditions

A picture of glue and red siren lights on top of a police cruiserEdward Kimmel/Flickr

Two adoptive parents in West Virginia were charged with felony neglect after two children were found locked inside a small barn and a third child was located in an unprotected loft inside an adjacent home, police said Tuesday.

The parents were arraigned Tuesday on charges of gross child neglect creating a substantial risk of injury.

Authorities began investigating after they received a call Monday from someone expressing concern about the children’s welfare. Kanawha County sheriff’s deputies forced their way into the barn, where a boy and a girl were locked inside a small room. The children had been deprived of adequate food and hygienic care, and the room had no running water or bathroom facilities, the sheriff’s department said in a news release.

Inside the main residence, a small child was found alone in a loft about 15 feet (4.6 meters) high with no protection from falling, the statement said.

No adults were present at the home. The adoptive parents were arrested when they returned, and each was being held in jail on a $200,000 cash bond. An Oct. 12 preliminary hearing is scheduled. Jail records didn’t indicate whether the parents have attorneys who could comment on the charges.

The Associated Press is not naming the parents in order to protect the identity of the children, who have been placed with Child Protective Services.