Three Davidson County residents are facing child abuse charges after authorities found a 9-year-old child locked in a kennel early Wednesday morning near Lexington.
The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 6:50 a.m. from a resident reporting that a child had been locked in a kennel overnight at a Cress Road home, officials said. The house is about 13 miles south of Lexington.
The child’s parents, Sarah Lynette Starr, 30, and Jonathan Scott Starr, 32, both of Cress Road, are charged with felony child abuse, misdemeanor child abuse and false imprisonment.
The Starrs are accused of padlocking the child in a dog crate and forcing the child to sleep outside in the kennel without food or proper clothing in freezing temperatures, according to arrest warrants.
The low temperature Wednesday morning in Lexington was 30 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Raleigh.
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The child suffered serious mental or emotional harm, according to a warrant.
Shelly Lucille Barnes, 56, of Cress Road, is charged with felony child abuse, misdemeanor child abuse and false imprisonment as well as felon possession of a firearm and maintaining a dwelling place for controlled substances, the sheriff’s office said. Authorities told a news conference that Barnes was a relative of the family.
Jonathan Starr, Sarah Starr and Barnes are jailed in Davidson County with bonds from the Starrs set at $100,000 and bail from Barnes set at $300,000, the sheriff’s office said.
All three are scheduled to appear Nov. 10 in Davidson District Court.
At the Cress Road home, deputies forced their way into the kennel and took the child to medical crews at the scene, the sheriff’s office said.
Deputies then forced their way into the home and found the child’s mother and two other children inside, the sheriff’s office said.
The children found inside were also taken to emergency medical technicians at the scene, but suffered no apparent injuries, the sheriff’s office said.
Workers from the Davidson County Department of Social Services were also called to the home.
The 9-year-old was taken to Brenner Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem for evaluation, the sheriff’s office said.
The Davidson County Department of Social Services has taken protective custody of the three children found on Cress Road.
Authorities said two other children who live at the home were found safe at their school.