SISSONVILLE, W.V. (WJW) – Adoptive parents in West Virginia have been arrested and are facing felony charges after two children were found locked inside a barn, and a third child was found in an unprotected loft, about 15 feet high.
According to a press release from the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were tipped off by a 911 call that came in shortly before 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 2.
When deputies arrived at the property in the 200 block of Cheyenne Lane they had to force their way into the barn where they found two children, a boy and a girl, locked inside a room described as about 20×14 feet, with no running water or bathroom.
“(The children) were obviously deprived of adequate hygienic care and food,” stated the release.
At the main residence on the property, deputies discovered another “small child” locked inside and alone in the “unprotected loft.”
According to officials, there were no caretakers or parents at the scene, but later the adoptive parents identified as Donald Ray Lantz, 63, and Jeanne Kay Whitefeather, 61, returned and were arrested. The two now face felony charges of gross neglect creating a substantial risk of injury.
It’s not clear the age of the children. Children Protective Services is assisting with the investigation.