Couple who locked child in closet charged

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Missouri couple accused of locking child in closet for hours

COLUMBIA, 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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