Two adopted children found locked in West Virginia barn with no water; adults charged with neglect

Two adopted children found locked in West Virginia barn with no water; adults charged with neglect


Gabe Hauari
 USA TODAY

Two adults are now facing charges of gross child neglect after authorities found two children, who were adopted by the pair, locked inside a barn in West Virginia.

Donald Ray Lantz, 63, and Jeanne Kay Whitefeather, 61, both of Sissonville, West Virginia, were arrested on the felony charges of gross child neglect creating a substantial risk of injury.

Deputies with the Kanawha County Sherriff’s Office responded to a call just after 5:46 p.m. Monday regarding the welfare of the children.

According to a news release, police forced their way into the barn where they located a juvenile boy and girl locked inside a room that was approximately 20 feet by 14 feet.

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The children had no way of exiting the barn on their own and had no access to running water or bathroom facilities. They were also “obviously deprived of adequate hygienic care and food,” according to the news release.

Inside the main residence, police located another small child locked inside alone. The child was found in an unprotected loft that was approximately 15 feet high, according to police.

The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Section is investigating the case along with Child Protective Services.

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