New Bern
78° F
77° F
78° F

Couple indicted after boy found handcuffed to porch

Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:34:25 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 10 2013 09:21:26 PM CST
Wanda Larson and Dorian Harper

A Union County couple has been indicted after an 11-year-old boy was found handcuffed to a porch with a dead chicken tied to his neck last month.

The indictment against Wanda Sue Larson and Dorian Harper spells out some of the abuse that investigators say occurred in their home between August and November. The couple had guardianship of the boy.

Larson was a former supervisor with the local Department of Social Services.

The indictment says the boy also had been chained to a piece of railroad track in his room. He once broke his wrist trying to escape.

The indictment accuses Harper of cutting the boy's face with a knife and using an electric wire to burn his face.

The couple faces 21 charges.


Union County social services officials have fired the woman accused after an 11-year-old boy was found by a sheriff's deputy handcuffed to his front porch with a dead chicken tied to his neck.

The Charlotte Observer reports the county fired Wanda Sue Larson on Friday, accusing her of what it called "unacceptable personal conduct and grossly inefficient job performance."

Larson and Dorian Lee Harper were arrested last Friday after the deputy found the boy. The couple had adopted four kids and were foster parents to the boy.

Investigators in Union County interviewed the boy as well as the four other children removed from the home. Sheriff Eddie Cathey wouldn't reveal what the children said.

The children are now in the custody of the Davidson County Division of Social Services.


Authorities in North Carolina say it appears the 11-year-old boy found handcuffed to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck was routinely handcuffed in the home.

Union County Sheriff's Capt. Cody Luke also told The Charlotte Observer on Sunday that human waste was found on the home's floor.

Wanda Sue Larson and Dorian Lee Harper (above), both 57, were arrested Friday after a deputy found the boy. Larson is a supervisor with Union County Department of Social Services. The couple adopted four children and was fostering a fifth child.

The couple is charged with intentional child abuse inflicting injury, false imprisonment and cruelty to animals. They are scheduled to be in court Monday. It wasn't clear whether they have lawyers yet.

The children, ages 8 to 14, have been removed from the home.