DSS Supervisor Arrested After Child Found Handcuffed to Porch

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — Union County authorities have charged a Monroe couple after an 11-year-old child was found handcuffed to a front porch. Officials say on Friday, a deputy was answering an animal services complaint on Austin Road.

The Deputy stated he saw the child secured to the front porch at the ankle, by what appeared to be a pair of handcuffs. The child also had a dead chicken hanging around his neck, and appeared to be shivering. A few moments later, a man appeared on the porch and asked the officer why he was there. The deputy then said a child at the residence opened a door to the house releasing several large dogs that ran towards him. The deputy was forced to retreat back to his vehicle to avoid the dogs, and by the time he was able get the animals secured, the man had removed the child from the porch, and left the dead chicken on a barrel on the porch.

When additional officers arrived, the house was entered and searched. Five children, aged 14, 13, 11, 9 and 8 were removed from the residence. 

Authorities say 57-year-old Dorian Harper and Wanda Larson are charged with intentional child abuse, inflicting serious injury, false imprisonment, and cruelty to animals. Larson was also charged with willful failure to discharge her duty as a public official. Larson is currently employed as a supervisor with Union County Department of Social Services. Harper is being held under a $500,000 secured bond. Larson’s bond is set at $525,000. 

While not present at the time the children were discovered, Larson is accused of being complicit in the ongoing mistreatment of the children. Larson and Harper had adopted four of the children, and were serving as foster parents of the 11-year old. This was the child discovered on the porch by the Deputy. The children are now in the custody of an undisclosed Social Services agency outside of Union County.