Boy Found Locked In Dog Kennel Said He Had Been Living Outside Since April

An anonymous tip led officers in North Carolina to a home where a nine-year-old boy was found locked in an outdoor dog kennel as temperatures dipped below freezing. According to WGHP, when deputies arrived, there was frost on the ground, and the boy was barefoot and wearing just a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.

The officers broke the padlock securing the kennel, and took the boy to safety. The residents of the home refused to let the officers inside, so they forced their way into the house.

Sarah Starr, the boy’s stepmother, told detectives that her aunt, Shelley Barnes was responsible for locking the boy in the kennel and that only she knew the combination. Starr added that she and her husband were “upset about it.”

Starr, Barnes, and the boy’s father, Jonathan Starr, were all arrested and are facing charges of felony child abuse, misdemeanor child abuse, and false imprisonment. Barnes was also charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and maintaining a dwelling place for controlled substances.

The boy was taken to the hospital to get checked out. He told officers that he had been living outside since April and that he did not have a room in the house.

There were a total of five children living at the home, and they were into custody by the Department of Social Services. They were all in good health.

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