NC child spends night outdoors, padlocked in dog cage; 3 people facing charges: Sheriff

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Friday, October 21, 2022
Davidson County child found locked in dog cage
Both parents are now facing child abuse charges.

LEXINGTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- Three people in North Carolina are facing charges after a child was found locked in a dog kennel.

According to the Davidson County Sheriff's Office (DCSO), an anonymous tip led them to a house on Cress Road in Lexington. When deputies arrived, they reportedly found a 9-year-old inside the kennel with the door padlocked.

The child had spent the night in the kennel, deputies said.

Deputies used forced entry to get the child out and immediately took the child to a hospital for a wellness check. Deputies then forced entry to the house to check on the people inside. Once inside the home, they saw two other children and an adult who all appeared to be OK. The children were removed and taken to a hospital to be checked out.

Two other children were found safe at school.

Davidson County Social Services and the district attorney were contacted and asked to respond to the scene to view the conditions of the house. Sheriff Richie Simmons said detectives secured a warrant and searched the house and property as part of the investigation.

During the investigation, the sheriff's office charged three people.

Jonathan and Sarah Star are charged with felony child abuse, misdemeanor child abuse and false imprisonment. Shelly Barnes is charged with felony child abuse, misdemeanor child abuse, false imprisonment possession of a firearm by a felon and maintaining a dwelling place for controlled substances.

Simmons said Jonathan star is the father of three of the five children.

The suspects were booked into the Davidson County Detention Center.

The child found in the kennel was treated at Brenner's Children Hospital and released.

All the children who were connected to that location are now in the protective custody of DSS. The children ages are infant, 4-year-old, 9-year-old and two elementary age. Detectives said because the cause is involving children they can't elaborate on specifics about the children, including their gender.

The investigation remains active and ongoing, Simmons said.

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