Authorities: 4 Missouri children found in windowless rooms

Missouri couple caged 4 children in tiny cells & had prison uniforms tailored for them

St. Francois County Sheriff's Dept

"I've seen some pretty nasty things, but nothing this deplorable", the sheriff said.

Laura Cheatham, 38, and Daryl J. Head, 38, were arrested Tuesday and charged separately with eight counts of child endangerment and kidnapping.

Law enforcement responded earlier Tuesday after someone called Missouri's Child Abuse Hotline to report the home in Farmington, Fox 2 reported.

"Once investigators gained entry into the home, they discovered a 38-year-old female removing screws from plywood covering the entrance to small rooms and children coming out from behind the plywood", the release states.

5 On Your Side discovered Cheatham and Head started a nonprofit a year ago created to help children with Reactive Attachment Disorder. "Myself and the prosecutor have talked about this. This is the kind of thing that happens somewhere else, and not here". They had previously been adopted by Cheatham and her estranged husband and had lived in the home for a few weeks, he said.

The three girls and one boy are aged between five and 12.

The rooms that held the children were "specially constructed" with no access to toilets, water, or lighting, officials said.

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KMOV-TV says the children appear to be in relatively good health.

CBS affiliate KMOV spoke to neighbor Stan Souden.

He said he was at work when his wife texted him that she saw a lot of law enforcement at the house across the street.

Ladage says kids with the disorder can be anxious and angry because they're unable to feel comforted or protected by their parents or caregivers. "We had never, we never introduced, they never came over, we just, they were just very quiet. The kids were working in the yard, they were always working on something, building something".

The homeowner, Daryl Head, 38, initially hesitated to allow deputies inside the home.

Police said Laura Cheatham, a recent former employee of the Missouri Department of Corrections, ordered four kids-size prison inmate uniforms from the Prison Industries Clothing Division.

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