Laura Cheatham is the Missouri woman accused of keeping her four adopted children locked up in wooden boxes in her Farmingdale home. Cheatham and her partner, Daryl Head, were arrested this week and charged with kidnapping and child endangerment. Authorities said that the children had been living in spaces “no bigger than a jail cell” with no windows, lighting, or plumbing.
Cheatham worked for the Missouri Department of Corrections. Local media reports that she had just ordered — and had not yet received — four child-size prison uniforms from Prison Industries Clothing Division. Cheatham apparently told the division that the uniforms were meant for her kids. Police took the uniforms in as evidence after they arrested Cheatham and her partner, Daryl Head.
Here’s what you need to know about Laura Cheatham:
1. Police Say Cheatham Was Keeping Her Kids Locked Into Rooms The Size of Jail Cells, Which She Had Built Out of Plywood and Screws
Cheatham has four adopted children — three girls and a boy — all between the ages of 5 and 12. She adopted them along with her husband — but Cheatham and her husband had become estranged, and she was now living with another man in her house, Daryl Head.
Authorities say that Cheatham was forcing her children to live inside four small boxes — each no larger than a jail cell, and closed up from the outside with plywood and screws. Police say the children may have been kept in those boxes for weeks, although there is still not way to be sure.
The children had no access to water, light, or to a bathroom, and the house reportedly stank of urine. Police said the four small rooms were constructed in such a way as to keep out the light — and they said the children were probably using the vents in the floor as a bathroom, having no other choice.
Laura Cheatham Worked For the Missouri Department of Corrections. She Recently Ordered Prison Uniforms For Her Kids
What is clear is that back in January, Cheatham ordered child-size prison uniforms — and told the inmate in charge of taking orders for clothing that the uniforms were “for her kids.” Farmington’s department of correction apparently filled the order but hadn’t yet shipped it out to Cheatham. Police said the department of corrections contacted them to tell them about the order after seeing the news about Cheatham’s arrest on Tuesday night.
Police found the four jumpsuits — two blue, and two orange — at Farmington Correctional Center along with cardboard patterns that are marked “kids pants”, ‘kids shirt.” You can see the uniforms pictured here.
Cheatham’s Boyfriend, Daryl Head, Was a Counselor Who Worked With Children. He Had Already Been Barred From Working With the Local …read more