Three people face charges as the result of a police investigation into the circumstances of a 9-year-old child who was forced to spend a night outdoors in a dog kennel.
The incident was reported to the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday morning after temperatures went down to 28 degrees, according to the Charlotte Observer.
The incident took place in Lexington, North Carolina.
The sheriff’s office said it was told by a caller that a child had been left in a dog kennel overnight, according to WRAL-TV.
“Deputies with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office immediately responded to the residence and confirmed this report and located a 9-year-old child locked in a dog kennel, which was secured with a padlock,” according to a Facebook post by the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office.
“Deputies forced entry into the dog kennel and rushed the child to EMS personnel who arrived on the scene to assist,” the post said.
The Charlotte Observer said the boy had “bits and pieces” of clothes and cited officials it did not name as saying “a little bit of food was inside, but not enough to sustain warmth for this child.”
“Deputies then forced entry into the residence. Inside Deputies located one adult female, later identified as Sarah Starr, and two other children inside the residence. These children were also taken to EMS personnel on the scene but had no obvious injuries,” the post said.
After an investigation, Jonathan Star and Sarah Star were arrested on charges of felony child abuse, misdemeanor child abuse and false imprisonment.
The Charlotte Observer said Jonathan is the boy’s father and Sarah is his stepmother, citing officials it did not name.
Shelly Barnes, who the Charlotte Observer said was the boy’s aunt, faces charges of felony child abuse, misdemeanor child abuse, false imprisonment, possession of a firearm by a felon and maintaining a dwelling place for controlled substances.
All three were sent to the Davidson County Jail, according to the Facebook post.
The Charlotte Observer said the treatment of the boy was not an isolated event. “It’s been going on for a span of time,” officials said.
The boy in the kennel was examined at a hospital and released.
The post said Davidson County Social Services took protective custody of all three children found at the residence and two other children who live there and were found at school.
The post noted that during a Thursday court appearance the bond for Jonathan and Sarah was hiked from $30,000 each to $100,000 apiece, while that of Barnes was increased from $60,000 to $300.000.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.