The adoptive parents of 2 children found locked inside a barn in West Virginia are facing felony child neglect charges, authorities say

By Jillian Sykes, CNN

(CNN) — Two children were found locked inside a barn in West Virginia without any running water or bathroom facilities and their adoptive parents are now facing felony child neglect charges, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office says.

An investigation was launched Monday just before 6 p.m. after authorities received a 911 call regarding the welfare of the children, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

A sheriff’s deputy went to the barn in Sissonville and forced her way inside to find a boy and girl in the 20-foot by 14-foot room, the release said.

The children were locked inside without access to water, a bathroom, food or adequate hygienic care items, authorities said. At the main residence, another small child was found locked inside alone, the release stated.

The adoptive parents, Donald Ray Lantz, 61, and Jeanne Kay Whitefeather, 61, later arrived and were arrested on felony gross child neglect charges, the sheriff’s release said.

Sgt. Joshua Lester told CNN the couple has five adoptive children ranging from 6 to 16 years old.

One child was with Lantz and Whitefeather as they arrived and another was with a separate caretaker.

All five children were placed in the immediate custody of Child Protective Services, Lester said.

CNN has been unable to determine if Lantz and Whitefeather have obtained a lawyer at this time. They are being held at South Central Regional Jail in Charleston, West Virginia, on a $200,000 bond each.

Sissonville is about 15 miles north of Charleston.

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