MONROE, N.C. -- Grand jury indictments against a Union County DSS worker and her boyfriend show the alleged abuse against a boy in their guardianship is worse than initially uncovered.
Those indictments now say Wanda Sue Larson, a since-fired Union County DSS Child Protective Services supervisor over investigations, not only handcuffed a boy under her guardianship to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck, but also restrained him to a piece of railroad track, permanently injured the boy's pinkie finger and failed to get him medical attention for a broken wrist, cut on his face and burn near his eye.
(Click here to view photos of the couple's home)
The indictments allege Dorian Harper, a since-fired nurse, burned the boy's face with electrical wire, cut the boy's face with a knife bad enough to cause a scar, also handcuffed him to the porch with the chicken around his neck, caused a finger infection and also failed to get the boy medical attention.
"This child will suffer the rest of this life," said Justice For All Coalition Founder Jeff Gerber. He advocates for stricter child abuse laws and believes all DSS employees should have a social work background before getting hired by DSS.
"You can go from working at McDonalds to getting a job with DSS," Gerber said.
Davidson County DSS is examining Larson's DSS case files and court proceedings to see if she abused her position, covered up any previously reported concerns about the boy and followed all DSS rules and regulations.
Gerber says DSS investigating itself isn't how this should be handled. This is his big concern:
"We don't want to take a chance of any pertinent information being covered up or not brought to the proper authorities' attention. Therefore, ask for a third party, unbiased agency from the federal level to come in and take a look at these files themselves," he said. "We can't solely rely upon neighboring counties to look at Union County DSS files or the DHHS system."
The state is conducting a comprehensive review of Larson's DSS cases.
Union County is also reviewing its hiring and screening processes.
Larson and Harper remain in jail.
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