Woman fired from job after child found in handcuffs

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Wanda Sue Larson

Wanda Sue Larson

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — A foster mother has lost her job after authorities said her 11-year-old boy was found handcuffed to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck.

WSOC-TV reported that 57-year-old Wanda Sue Larson has been fired from her job as a Child Protective Services supervisor in Union County.

Union County officials delivered a letter to Larson in jail on Friday citing “conduct unbecoming of an employee… that is detrimental to the agency’s service… and, gross oversight in the performance of her duties as a supervisor in the child protective services unit.”

Authorities said Larson has worked for Union County DSS since March 2003 and has been promoted twice.

She was promoted to Child Protective Services supervisor in December 2009 and assigned to the investigative unit. Her salary was set at more than $54,000.

WSOC reported that she has been disciplined twice. She was suspended in May 2012, but DSS would not explain why.

When she was arrested last Friday, she was suspended again until she was fired Friday.

Union County deputies met with the five children Thursday who lived with Larson and Dorian Lee Harper. Authorities have not disclosed details on what the children said.

Investigators have previously said the children were underfed, forced to sleep on the floor and endured unusual punishments while living in filth.

Larson, along with 57-year-old Dorian Lee Harper, were arrested Nov. 15 after a deputy found the child handcuffed to their porch while investigating a complaint at a neighboring home.

Deputies said when they searched the home shortly later; they found five children, ages 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14.

Officials said she and her husband had adopted four children and were serving as foster parents for a fifth child.

The children were removed from the home and are in the custody of an outside agency.

Deputies said the suspects were charged with intentional child abuse inflicting serious injury, false imprisonment and cruelty to animals.

They were both placed in the Union County Jail and are scheduled to appear in court Monday. Harper was given a $500,000 bond and Larson a $525,000 bond.

Harper is an emergency room nurse at the local hospital, and has been placed on administrative leave.


  • Joy

    My heart breaks for all 5 of those children. The damage they have done to them physically will eventually heal..but the emotional and mental scars will never go away. God bless and be with these children. Of course our justice system won’t allow them to be punished the way they should be, but I sincerely hope they do get the maximum sentence for each charge, especially since they were both in jobs that were supposed to protect children. I’m so happy they were caught and these kids are hopefully now in safe hands.

  • FaithC

    These people had more than enough money to raise these children in decent conditions. They could not be stupid to hold the jobs they did, so that means they did it just because they could and that was their power trip. These people need to be locked up for many, many years.

  • Deanna Salmon

    Good I am glad she was fired !!!!!!!!! UNION COUNTY DO NOT SWEEP THIS UNDER THE TABLE !!!!!!!!!!!! THROW THE BOOK AT THEM BOTH !!!!!!!!!!! They should be put under the jail for good !!!!!!!!!

  • Lynn

    Tehre needs to be a complete investigation into this agency – someone else in that department had to know what those children were enduring.
    Obviously done for the money involved – no love in that place – shameful.

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