Your tip
RadarOnlineRadarOnline
BREAKING NEWS

PHOTOS: White Couple Accused of Forcing Adopted Black Children to Work as Slaves, Kept Locked in Barn

white couple accused of forcing adopted black children to work as slaves kept locked in barn wchs tv
Source: WCHS TV

Donald Ray Lutz and Jeanne Kay Whitefeather faced new charges related to the neglect and abuse of their adopted children.

Jun. 25 2024, Published 7:30 p.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to FlipboardShare to Email
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A white couple in West Virginia have been accused of forcing their adopted Black children to work as their slaves and live in a locked, dilapidated barn, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Donald Ray Lantz, 63, and Jeanne Kay Whitefeather, 62, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday, June 24, to mulitple new charges related to the treatment of their five adopted children, aged six to 16-years-old.

Article continues below advertisement
white couple accused of forcing adopted black children to work as slaves kept locked in barn west virginia regional jailcorrections
Source: West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional facility

Donald Ray Lutz of Charleston, West Virginia, pleaded not guilty to the new charges.

The five children were discovered locked in a run down barn after allegedly being forced to work on neighboring farmland. The judge presiding over the case said the couple targeted the children because of their race and they were allegedly "used basically as slaves."

The couple's new charges include human trafficking of a minor child, use of a minor child in forced labor, and child neglect creating substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death.

Their bonds were raised to $500,000 each.

Article continues below advertisement
white couple accused of forcing adopted black children to work as slaves kept locked in barn jeneane west virginaregiona jail
Source: West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional facility

Jeanne Kay Whitefeather also pleaded not guilty to her charges on Tuesday, June 25.

Article continues below advertisement

According to the couple's October 2023 arrest record, the 16 and 14-year-old children were locked in the 20x14 shed, which had no lights, running water or food. A camera was mounted in the left corner of the cramped space.

The barn additionally had no way of being opened from the inside.

Article continues below advertisement

A welfare check revealed the children were in poor condition, wearing dirty clothes and had sores on the bottoms of their feet.

Whitefeather, who homeschooled all five children, told authorities that the barn was a "teenage clubhouse" and claimed the minors were not being held there against their will. She additionally tried to claim that the kids "liked" the barn they were found locked inside.

One of the teenagers disagreed and told police she had been locked inside the building for 12 hours — and was last given food at 6 AM.

Article continues below advertisement
white couple accused of forcing adopted black children to work as slaves kept locked in barn wchs tv
Source: WCHS TV

The children were locked in the barn without lights, food or running water.

MORE ON:
crime
Article continues below advertisement

Three hours after police discovered the older children inside the locked room, they discovered an 9-year-old girl locked inside a loft in the couple's $295,000, three-bed room home.

Lantz came home with the 11-year-old boy and his wife later surrendered a 6-year-old girl to authorities, who had been with friends from the couple's church.

Child Protective Services were called to the scene and the children were handed over to the agency.

Article continues below advertisement

Never miss a story — sign up for the RadarOnline.com newsletter to get your daily dose of dope. Daily. Breaking. Celebrity news. All free.

Article continues below advertisement
white couple accused of keeping adopted black children as slaves
Source: WCHS TV

Whitefeather claimed the outhouse was a 'teenage clubhouse.'

Article continues below advertisement

Disturbing images taken by police of the inside of the outhouse revealed a small porta-potty toilet with no running water. The children told authorities they forced to sleep on the concrete floor.

"If there was a medical emergency or fire, the children would be unable to exit the locked room to safety," the criminal complaint stated.

Court documents revealed concerned neighbors alerted authorities and claimed the children were being forced to perform manual labor on the property's five acres and were not allowed inside the couple's home.

Article continues below advertisement

In addition to the couple's Sissonville property, where the children were discovered, they also owned an 80-acre property in Tonasket, Washington, which featured a $725,000 home.

The couple sold their second property following their arrest in October.

Advertisement

DAILY. BREAKING. CELEBRITY NEWS. ALL FREE.

More From Radar Online

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 RADAR ONLINE™️. A DIVISION OF MYSTIFY ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK INC. RADAR ONLINE is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service, Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services. Offers may be subject to change without notice.