Cheatham children

Four adopted children found caged
Farmington, Missouri
Rescued August 7, 2018
Three girls and one boy, between ages 6-12

After a call to police, four adopted children were found confined each to a sealed plywood box, without access to water, light, or bathroom. The police were initially barred from entering by resident Daryl Head, 38. When allowed in, the police found Laura Cheatham, 38, the adoptive mother, unscrewing one plywood box from which a 6-year-old boy emerged. It is not known how long the children had been locked in the boxes or what other abuse they may have endured.

Cheatham & Head

Cheatham is an ex-prison guard. She and Head have each been charged five counts of endangering the welfare of a child and three counts of second-degree kidnapping. Their bail was put at $500,000. Head claims to be a “social worker” with only a bachelor’s degree. He worked at BJC Behavioral Health and is thought to have been a counselor to Cheatham’s children.

Cheatham adopted the children with her estranged husband who claims no knowledge of the alleged abuse.

The day after their arrest, the press found that the mother had
ordered small prison uniforms from the Department of Corrections
for all the children.
[Photo by the St. Francois County Sheriff's Department]
Cheatham Case
Most revealing, the press reports Cheatham and Head had set up a nonprofit organization in 2017 called “RADDLE.” A search of the Missouri Secretary of State website finds that Daryl Head
registered a new nonprofit corporation in October 2017 called “Reactive Attachment Disorder Developing Attachment Through Love and Empathy (R.A.D.D.L.E.).”

COMMENT: Treating children claimed to “Reactive Attachment Disorder” like prisoners is consistent with literature promoting Attachment Therapy parenting methods. The leading proponent of this abusive parenting, Nancy Thomas, has stated:

“When they have no bonding, they basicly [sic] need a cage. They don’t identify with you. They don’t care what you think. They don’t care if you’re happy or not happy, if the rug is done or not done.”— From “Bonding & Attachment Workshop,” Nancy Thomas, 2 parts, Foster Care & Adoptive Community, online training program, nd. [Material available for continuing education credit for master’s level mental health professions.]

“And during therapeutic motivational respite, three meals a day the child is fed what we call ‘soup kitchen meals,’ because … where do you think that child’s going to be? Yeah, probably prison. … ‘we thought we’d let you get used to it’.…” — From “Give Me a Break: Providing Respite for Families of Attachment Disordered Children,” Nancy Thomas, Families by Design, 2 videocassettes, nd, Glenwood Springs, CO.