WAKEFIELD, Nebraska (KTIV) – A Wakefield couple has been arrested after authorities say they only fed their two children only one meal a day, and would hit or choke them if they left their locked bedroom.
Angel and Patrick Henderson were arrested early Wednesday afternoon and charged with two counts of child abuse. He has been booked into the Dixon County Jail in Ponca, while Angel is in the Dakota County Jail in Dakota City.
According to court documents, shortly before 6 a.m. on Jan. 19, 2018, the Dixon County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Angel saying her 14-year-old son was missing from their home in Wakefield.
The teenager was eventually found in the back of a vehicle at 507 West 3rd in Wakefield. He was taken to Providence Medical Center in Wayne for treatment.
Medical personnel said they were concerned with the teenager’s wardrobe, which consisted of one-piece pajamas, with the arms sewed closed and sewn to the back of the pajamas. The legs of the pajamas were also sewn closed.
According to court documents, during an interview with the Dixon County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 2, 2018, the teenager said he and his nine-year-old-sister were homeschooled for the past two years. Documents say the children were last time students in the Wakefield Community School District during the 2015-2016 school year.
The teenager and nine-year-old said they were only fed one meal a day and would only be allowed to drink when they finished their food. They also said they were forced to stay in their room except for being allowed to go to the bathroom and to see the doctor.
The teenager told authorities the locked bedroom featured an alarm on the door. If the alarm would go off, he said their mother would choke them, kick them or hit them with her hand. He also said he had been hit with a wooden bat and his father’s brown belt.
According to court documents, the teenager said they would only be able to eat if the finished their school work, which consisted of worksheets.
He said both were required to wear the altered pajamas, along with their mother putting stocking caps over their head and face, and tieing them down with a shoestring.