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.