On Tuesday, officers with the St. Francois County Sheriff's Department responded to assist Missouri Children's Division Investigators with a Child Abuse Hotline call at a residence in the 100 block of Meadowbrook in Farmington.
Police said the man would not initially allow them in, but once they got inside, they saw a woman removing screws and plywood that covered the entrance to several spaces.
The children resorted to going to the bathroom in vents in the floor, according to authorities.
Officials said they were charged with five counts of endangering the welfare of a child creating substantial risk as well as three counts of kidnapping, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"I've seen some pretty nasty things, but nothing this deplorable", St. Francois Sheriff Daniel Bullock stated.
Neighbors have since told police that they regularly saw the children doing manual labor, including sawing plywood they believe was later used to keep them captive. "This is the kind of thing that happens somewhere else, not here".
"Reactive attachment disorders can be really challenging for parents", said Dr. Jennifer Ladage, a SLUCare pediatrician at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.
Police say two of the children are related to each-other, but none of them are related to Cheatham, her ex-husband, or Head.
Investigators learned on Wednesday, August 8 that in January of 2018, Laura Cheatham, a recent former employee of the Missouri Department of Corrections, placed an order with Prison Industries Clothing Division for four kids size prison inmate uniforms.
Right now the couple is facing four counts each of second-degree kidnapping and endangerment of a child.
Their bond was set at $2million each.
As it is an ongoing investigation, the couple could face additional charges if more incriminating evidence emerges.
"You do see it a lot in children from foster care and adopted children because of that early life experience, you know, neglect, multiple caregivers", she said.