Missouri couple accused of locking child in closet for hours

Three Illinois guards have been indicted on charges of inmate assault resulting in death and obstruction of the investigation. In a statement from the United States Department of Justice, the three correctional officers made their initial appearances in federal court Friday morning. (MGN Image)

COLE COUNTY, Mo. -- 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. 

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