Union Co. sheriff, DA asks for SBI involvement in child abuse case

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UNION COUNTY, N.C. —

The Union County Sheriff's Office and district attorney have formally asked the State Bureau of Investigation to join in the investigation of child abuse in the county.

Wanda Sue Larson and Dorian Harper are accused of handcuffing their 11-year-old child to the porch with a dead chicken tied to his neck.

The couple's five children remain in foster care at an undisclosed location outside of Union County. They appear to be functioning well in their new environment, and have made an excellent adjustment to their new surroundings, according to the Union County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators reported interviews with the children have been completed, and the information was turned over to the sheriff's lead detective.

Sheriff Eddie Cathey called the Division of Health and Human Services director on Nov. 21, and was told the department would initiate an administrative investigation into Union County's Department of Social Services with regard to compliance with DSS's own internal policy and procedures.

Cathey has stated that Union County DSS personnel and attorneys have cooperated fully with his detectives.

The Sheriff's Office and the district attorney continue to look into the criminal allegations
against Harper and Larson, as well as the facts and circumstances that led to the pair adopting four children and receiving guardianship of a fifth.

Cathey and District Attorney Trey Robison reiterated their commitment to unraveling the complex maze that this case represents.

"We will follow this case wherever it leads us," Cathey said.