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Mother of youth found with dead chicken around neck in DSS care awarded permanent custody

Michael was 11 years old in 2013 when deputies found him on the porch of his foster parents Wanda Sue Larson and Dorian Harper with a dead chicken tied around his neck. At the time, Larson was a Department of Social Services supervisor for Union County and Harper was a nurse at Carolinas Medical Center - Union.
Michael was 11 years old in 2013 when deputies found him on the porch of his foster parents Wanda Sue Larson and Dorian Harper with a dead chicken tied around his neck. At the time, Larson was a Department of Social Services supervisor for Union County and Harper was a nurse at Carolinas Medical Center - Union. WBTV

- A teen who was abused while in the care of a former Union County social services supervisor is no longer in DSS custody.

His biological mother has been awarded permanent custody. On Wednesday, a Davidson County judge says there will be no more reviews in the child’s case.

To protect the boy’s identity WBTV is calling him Michael. In June, a judge allowed Michael to go home with his mother, Maria, on a trial basis.

Michael was 11 in 2013 when sheriff’s deputies found him on the porch of Wanda Sue Larson and her long-time boyfriend Dorian Harper with a dead chicken tied around his neck. At the time, Larson was the boy’s legal guardian and also a DSS supervisor.

Michael, and four other children ages 7 to 14 who were under Harper and Larson’s care, were removed from the home and placed under the jurisdiction of Davidson County DSS.

Harper was sentenced to up to 10 1/2 years in prison; Larson was sentenced to up to 17 months in jail, served her time and is free.

A Davidson County social worker said that in the past three months, Michael has had several surgeries to correct scars near his eye, started school and the principal said he had a fabulous first week.

Michael is 13. A judge said DSS is relieved of its duties in his case, there would be no further reviews and he recommended Michael continue with extensive therapy.

In an earlier hearing, a caseworker said Michael was removed from a home when he was 3. Maria said he was removed from her sister’s home in Gaston County when one of his cousins was abused.

Observer staff reports contributed

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