Three Family Members Arrested After Boy, 9, Found Locked In Dog Kennel

Three people have been arrested in North Carolina after a child was found locked inside a dog kennel outside a home in below-freezing temperatures last week that he had reportedly been locked in since April.

Boy locked in dog kennel Lexington
Police arrested the child's father, Jonathan Starr, stepmum, Sarah Starr, and his stepmum's aunt, Shelly Barnes

Davidson County Sheriff's Office said that officers had responded to an anonymous call at around 7am on October 19, informing them that a child was locked outside in a dog kennel in Lexington.


When police arrived at the property they found the 9-year-old locked inside the dog kennel, which was secured with a padlock.


Sheriff Richie Simmons told reporters that temperatures were below freezing overnight and the child had inadequate clothing to protect him from the bitter cold.



Officers broke into the kennel and rushed the child to Brenner's Children's Hospital in Winston-Salem where they were evaluated and released later that day.


After the child was freed from the kennel, police forced entry into the property and found an adult, named as Sarah Starr, and two other children, a 4-year-old and an infant, both of which were unharmed.


Police arrested Sarah Starr, the child's stepmother, Jonathan Starr, the child's father, and Shelley Barnes, the owner of the property and the aunt of Sarah Starr.


Lexington Dog Kennel Child
Officers found the child after an anonymous phone call from a member of the public

The child told officers that he did not have a room inside the property and that he had lived outside since April.


Sarah Starr later told police during an interview that only her aunt knew the combination to the padlock that kept the child locked in the kennel.


Starr also explained that she had two other children who were at school - officers located them shortly after and confirmed that all five children were now in the custody of the Department of Social Services.



Both Sarah and Jonathan Starr have been charged with felony child abuse, misdemeanor child abuse, and false imprisonment. They are being held on a $100,000 bond.


Shelley Barnes was 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. Barnes is being held on a $300,000 bond.


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