State legislator looks into foster care policies after boy was handcuffed to porch
UNION CITY, N.C. — A State Legislator has been compelled to do something after hearing about the couple who handcuffed a child to the front porch in Union County.
“This is not just a tragedy, this is a disaster,” said North Carolina Rep. Craig Horn, a Republican from Union County.
Last week, Dorian Lee Harper and Wendy Sue Larson were arrested, accused of handcuffing an 11-year-old boy to the front porch with a dead chicken tied around his neck.
According to WSOC, new details reveal the boy was not a foster child. It was reported that he was under legal guardianship so the state wasn’t required to check on him. Horn said that may need to change.
He said that may mean home visits and more transparency. He is on a fact-finding mission and is talking to other lawmakers, including the head of a committee looking at foster care and adoption in the state.
It was reported that Horn will be pushing hard for answers and continuing to speak with other lawmakers and the state. But he said he doesn’t want to rush a new law or changes before he has all the facts.
A man who was adopted by Harper and Larson years ago told WSOC he never saw any abuse.
He said he was adopted by Larson and Harper in 2000 after being a foster child for two years. “I pretty much fell in love with them,” he said.
Up until 2011, the man said he lived in Larson’s rural house along with other adopted and foster children, including the boy allegedly abused last week, who he remembers as troubled, cruel to animals and potentially violent.
“He once told me, face-to-face, ‘I could get a machete and kill you in your sleep.’ And this is when he was 8 years old,” the man said.
Union County sheriff’s deputies have said little about what might have prompted the boy to be handcuffed by Larson or Harper.
Despite his affection for his adoptive parents, he said he has no excuses for their alleged crimes.
All five children living with Larson and Harper are now in DSS custody in another county.
Larson and Harper remain in the Union County jail.