Couple accused of locking child in closet for hours with no food or water

Posted on 9 December 2019 at 4:44pm
Story image: Couple accused of locking child in closet for hours with no food or water

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Authorities say a mid-Missouri couple is jailed after being charged with repeatedly locking a 9-year-old boy in a closet for hours without food or water.

Cole County authorities said 52-year-old Joseph Ciaveralla and 34-year-old Loretta Wilhelm, of Columbia, were charged Saturday after an investigation by state social workers.

Ciavarella is charged with first-degree endangering the welfare of a child and Wilhelm is charged with abuse or neglect of a child.

After the investigation, the boy and four other children were removed from the home.

The defendants both denied the allegations.