Woman fired from job after child found in handcuffs

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Wanda Sue Larson

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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.

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