UNION COUNTY, N.C. -- The adopted son of the Union County couple accused of abusing their children defends their character saying, they are "loving" parents.
The man, did not want to be identified. He says he came to live with Wanda Larson and Dorian Harper when he was 14 years old.
He lived under their roof, under their rules, up until two years ago, when he turned 18.
"I grew up in a caring and loving home," he said.
The "punishment," he received at the home he thought was fair and "fit the crime."
He came by the house Monday night to locate the family cat, that disappeared shortly after his parent's arrest Friday.
Union County Sheriff Animal Services were at the house on Austin Road gathering the remaining animals found on the property. It included an estimated 75 fowl (chicken, ducks, guineas and peacock) three horses, three donkeys, two llamas, eight dogs and a hog.
When asked about why his 11 year old sibling would have a dead chicken tied around his neck, he said, "more than likely, the chicken around the neck, was to shame the child. There has to be something going on, between that child and that chicken. He either, one, didn't feed it and it died, or two, either he was out there harassing the chicken. He may have killed the chicken. This child has been known to be cruel to animals," he said.
To his knowledge, the 11year-old boy has been living with the couple since he was 6.
He is the only foster child among five, not adopted.
"Everyone says this is some sweet innocent kid when in actuality, he is not. He has been to counseling, he is on numerous heavy medications, but nothing has worked," he said.
According to the County DSS, all four of the couple's children, under 14 years of age, were adopted before Larson took on a supervisory role with the department.
Her son says, she was not home when a deputy came by the house Friday on an animal complaint to find the boy chained to the porch railing with the dead chicken.
He is certain, his mother would not have agreed to his father's choice of "discipline," is she was around.
"Their resolution is whatever they may have done. I don't condone it, I don't think it's right, but in their head they had no viable option, left, to ensure safety of the other children, and the safety of their household."
The accusations, the boy was underfed, he said are also not true. He blames the boy's small frame on a medical condition that stunted his growth since birth.
"He is the type of child when everybody goes to bed at night, he gets up, sneaks downstairs and steals food," he said.
When asked if that was a sign he was not being properly nourished, he replied, "he would sneak out into the garage take raw meat out of the freezer, let it thaw overnight and next day go out there and eat it raw," he said.
"He has severe psychological issues."
"He was not allowed to carry his own lunch box because would eat what food is in his lunch and then, throw the lunch box away and say he didn't have lunch for the day."
Union County Sheriff deputies plan to interview the children to get a better idea of their living environment. He accepted the fact his parents will suffer the consequence of their actions, but said they cared for the children.
"Everyone assumed all five children in the home have been abused, that is not accurate. You ask all four of the children, they will say they lived in a loving and caring home."
The 11 year old's relatives say they have tried for years to get DSS to look into the allegations of abuse.
They claim to have pictures to prove the child was physically abused and plan to turn it over as evidence to authorities.