A photo taken eight years ago depicts a forewarning of what a 9-year-old North Carolina boy endured last week, allegedly at the hands of his own family when they locked him outside in a dog kennel.
According to Fox 8, a grand jury indicted Jonathan Starr, 32, identified as the victim’s father, on child abuse and related charges in October. Also charged were the boy’s stepmother, Sarah Lynette Starr, 40, and the stepmother’s aunt, Shelley Lucille Barnes, 56.
A total of 19 felony child abuse indictments have been filed against the defendants at the Davidson County Court in North Carolina.
Court documents indicate that deputies responded to the family home on October 19 after receiving an anonymous 911 call regarding possible child abuse. The caller reportedly told police that her husband had previously taken food to the victim.
Upon arrival, deputies noticed the boy inside a locked dog kennel wearing no shirt, jeans, and no shoes, although it was freezing and frost was on the ground. Sarah Starr, who was holding an 8-month-old inside the home, went into a room and turned the lights off, police said.
Deputies found Sarah inside a bedroom with a 4-year-old under the bed and the 8-month-old still in her arms. She claimed she didn’t know the combination for the cage lock, forcing EMS and deputies to break the cage open, Davidson County SO said.
The children were removed from the home and the 9-year-old was taken to the Brenner’s Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem, police said, where he received a medical checkup and was released the same day.
Meanwhile, DailyMail reports that the Facebook photo of the victim as a toddler showed him inside a dog kennel, although the door to the cage is open and he didn’t appear to be in distress.
The suspects remain behind bars. Check back for updates.
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[Featured image: Facebook via DM]