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DSS worker arrested after boy found handcuffed to porch with dead chicken around neck

Posted November 15, 2013
Updated November 16, 2013

— Authorities arrested a Union County Department of Social Services worker and a Monroe man Friday night after an 11-year-old boy was found handcuffed to the front porch of a home with a dead chicken tied around his neck, investigators said. 

WBTV of Charlotte reported a deputy was answering an animal services complaint next door to the home on Austin Road, south of Monroe, when he saw a 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, the deputy said.

Moments later, 57-year-old Dorian Lee Harper appeared on the porch along with another child who released several large dogs onto the officer.

When additional officers arrived, they removed five children from the home. 

According to authorities, Harper and Wanda Sue Larson, 57, were arrested. 

Larson was a supervisor with Union County Department of Social Services.

Officials told WBTV that while Larson was not present at the time the children were discovered, she is accused of being complicit in the ongoing mistreatment of the children. She and Harper had adopted four of the children, and were serving as foster parents of the 11-year-old, who was found on the porch.

Harper and Lawson were being held in the Union County jail Friday. Both were scheduled to be in court Monday. 

Harper and Larson were charged with intentional child abuse, inflicting serious injury, false imprisonment and cruelty to animals, according to authorities. 

The children are now in the custody of an undisclosed Social Services agency outside of Union County.


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  • itsyoureternalsoul Nov 20, 2013

    We need DSS, because there are so many people in the world who have children before they have love. DSS is required because of the families without love.

  • itsyoureternalsoul Nov 20, 2013


  • 678devilish Nov 19, 2013

    I am praying that she get hard time in prison. 80 years would be greatly sufficient. She knew the signs of child abuse and here she was doing exactly that. I hope the judge give her all that is required by law.

  • gingerlynn Nov 18, 2013

    She made 57,000. He was an emergency room nurse probably making at least 50000. They are getting money for these adopted/foster children they have.

    Where is the money? Why are these children living in squalor? It has to be drugs or something else. I supported 3 on less and it wasnt easy but they did eat and live in a clean house with clean clothes.

    Somebody needs to follow the money.

  • Milkman Nov 18, 2013

    No one I talk to has anything good to say about DSS anywhere in the country. Here in NC it's time to CLEAN HOUSE and start over with how we're protecting our children. It's a crime this happened, and it's a worse crime that no one higher up in the DSS food chain will have to answer for it.

  • PITNSMOKE Nov 18, 2013

    Lawyers and Judges it's time for you to do your job and give no mercy. Americans are tired of people plea barganing in cases like this. These children need someone to stand up for them. Amazing, right here in North Carolina, Governor step up and make laws tougher on these sick individuals. Thats what I voted for!

  • EricaSliver Nov 18, 2013

    This is horrible and...they are supposed to be protecting these children and giving them support and love...not torture! My heart breaks for them. I hope the rest of their lives are happy and they can heal from this terrible abuse. May the two adults receive harsh justice! So glad the officer just happened to be there or there is no telling what the future of these children could have been.

  • FromClayton Nov 18, 2013

    bless their hearts. They were probably taken out of a bad situation and put into a much worse one. I hear this happens all to often. What in the world is wrong with folks? Why would any human feel it is ok to treat a smaller human this way? Shameful! I hope she is never allowed near children again. Thankful for that police officer who noticed and cared!