A local couple is facing charges after a Conway Corporation employee reportedly found a young child locked in a room with bowls of water and Cheetos on Thursday.
Online records show that police believe two children at the home possibly were sexually abused after speaking with the couple in question and finding drug paraphernalia and sexual aids that were within reach of the 1- and 2-year-old children.
After a Conway Corp. employee alerted police that a 2-year-old child was locked in a bedroom, Conway Police Department officers immediately rushed to the residence, located in the 2200 block of Stout Street.
"Officers attempted to make contact for several minutes and finally James Shaw answered the door," an affidavit requesting a circuit judge's OK to search the Stout Street apartment for evidence reads in part. "Officers requested to see the children and James went to the bedroom door which had a latch locking it from the outside."
A 2-year-old child was found in the room that was locked from the outside, the report states.
At this point, police requested a Department of Human Services representative also respond to the scene.
The DHS worker helped conduct a home inspection and found dog bowls on the floor of the room the 2-year-old was locked in. One of the dog bowls was filled with water and the other contained Cheetos, according to the affidavit.
Officials found the 1-year-old child in a separate bedroom with Chelsie Vajentic. Authorities noted there was drug paraphernalia and sexual aids in the room and that all of these items "were within reach of the child."
Officer Joey Zulpo took the child out of the room and placed her into a high chair. Zulpo gave the girl a teddy bear to play with as DHS continued its investigation.
The 1-year-old was also given animal crackers as she waited in her high chair. As the young girl sat in the highchair, she reportedly took the face off one of the cookies and "put it between the legs of the teddy bear."
"She made this motion repeatedly all while looking at Officer Zulpo," detective Taylor Worley wrote, adding that the child's behavior hinted she had been sexually abused.
At this point, DHS took custody of the children and the couple was arrested on suspicion of endangering the welfare of a minor. As he was arrested, Shaw became adamant that he needed to use his computer immediately "to conduct speed tests for work." However, after authorities reached out to the man's employer, they learned the 28-year-old "had already taken a personal day and had no reason to log onto his computer."
"I have reason to believe, to the observed conduct of the children and the living conditions, there is a high probability they are also being exposed to sexual abuse," Worley said. "Also, due to James urgency to get onto his computer, there is potentially evidence on the computer that confirms the abuse."
After a circuit judge signed off on the search warrant, authorities collected potential evidence from apartment. Authorities seized multiple cell phones, glass pipes, grinders, vape pens, a jar of suspected marijuana, sex toys, a laptops, a hard drive, a flash drive, a computer and a "Wedding Crashers" disk, according to the inventory list filed in circuit court Thursday afternoon.
Online records show the couple was arrested Thursday morning and had posted bond by 9:30 p.m. that night.