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Couple arrested for imprisoning teens

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A Covington couple has been arrested and charged with imprisoning three children, authorities said Friday.

Will and Wylie Cater, of the 200 block of Gladney Road, are accused of locking the teenagers in bedrooms and a storage shed when they weren’t in school.

“There was a bariatric commode placed in the room and the windows were screwed shut,” said Sheriff Pancho Chumley. “The girls were fed in their rooms and confined until they were allowed to go to school in the mornings.”

Chumley said a 14-year-old boy was worse off than his sisters.

He was housed in an uninsulated storage shed in the backyard, without electricity or running water. Like his sisters, he was given a bariatric commode and had a space heater. The shed was lit by a drop light powered with an extension cord.

“There was exposed wiring throughout the shed,” Chumley said. “The boy would be allowed to come inside the residence in the mornings for breakfast before going to school and returned to the shed after school.”

A press release from Chumley states the investigation has revealed the boy has been deemed seriously emotionally disturbed. It has been alleged that the children have lived in these conditions for six months as a means of discipline.

Detectives said two fully-functioning restrooms were in the home.

The teens had been adopted by the Caters, but have been removed from their custody, said Chumley. The money the Caters received as guardians of the teens has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

“This investigation is disturbing in the manner which these children were allegedly being held,” the sheriff said. “We are making certain that they are receiving all the needed services.”

The Caters were arrested during a traffic stop on Jan. 28. They have reportedly admitted to their roles in the confinement of the children and have been charged with false imprisonment and three counts of aggravated child abuse.

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