• State official sought help for Union County boy after suspected abuse


    UNION COUNTY, N.C. - Months before a Union County boy was found handcuffed to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck, a North Carolina official tried to warn the state of suspected abuse.

    Bob Goodale works for the state Department of Commerce. His daughter used to be the boy's teacher at Union Academy Charter School.

    He said his daughter told him teachers didn't know who to tell because the boy's guardian, Wanda Larson, worked for the Union County Department of Social Services.

    E-mails show Goodale contacted the state Department of Social Services about the case, but there's no proof the state followed up with those teachers.

    Larson and Dorian Harper were indicted on 21 abuse charges earlier this month.

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