Neighbors shocked to hear of child abuse that allegedly happened for months at the house next door

“Doctors described the juvenile’s condition as extremely malnourished,” police sergeant says

Neighbors shocked to hear of child abuse that allegedly happened for months at the house next door

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Two Shreveport women are suspected of keeping a 14-year-old locked up in a bedroom since March.

A 14-year-old boy was found to be extremely malnourished after allegedly being held captive in a bedroom in a house on Coldwell Street in Shreveport since March.
A 14-year-old boy was found to be extremely malnourished after allegedly being held captive in a bedroom in a house on Coldwell Street in Shreveport since March. (Source: KSLA)

The teenager was discovered when he fled from a Coldwell Street residence.

“Doctors described the juvenile’s condition as extremely malnourished,” police Sgt. Angie Willhite said.

Kari Barber (left), 30, and Cassidy Dunn, 39, are charged with one count each of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile and false imprisonment.
Kari Barber (left), 30, and Cassidy Dunn, 39, are charged with one count each of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile and false imprisonment. (Source: SPD)

Authorities got the request for help with a welfare concern at 10:14 a.m. Wednesday, Caddo 911 dispatch records show.

A neighbor said the boy ran across the street and asked her for help.

“I’m about to go to work and hear a tap at my door,” Andre Menard said. “He was so hungry; so I cooked him breakfast and called the police for help.”

Shreveport Fire Department medics took the boy to a hospital for treatment.

Detectives searched the residence where the boy reportedly had been held captive.

Then they arrested 30-year-old Kari Mae Barber and 39-year-old Cassidy Leeann Dunn at 6:04 p.m. the same day, Shreveport City Jail booking records show.

The two women are accused of intentionally mistreating and neglecting the teenager by denying him food and keeping him confined to a locked room, according to the narratives on the booking records.

Each now faces one count of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile and one count of false imprisonment.

Both remain in Caddo Correctional Center, where they were transferred Thursday night -- Dunn at 7:10 p.m. and Barber at 8:50 p.m., booking records show.

After their arrests, word of the escape and alleged abuse quickly spread throughout the neighborhood.

“I’m already a helicopter parent; and knowing something like this is happening makes me watch my children even more,” Jeanine Cummings said.

Due to the sensitive nature of this investigation, police have not released any more details.

Kari Mae Barber, 30, Cassidy Leeann Dunn, 39, remain in Caddo Correctional Center, where the two Shreveport women were transferred the night of July 30. Each faces one count of false imprisonment and one second-degree cruelty to a juvenile.
Kari Mae Barber, 30, Cassidy Leeann Dunn, 39, remain in Caddo Correctional Center, where the two Shreveport women were transferred the night of July 30. Each faces one count of false imprisonment and one second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. (Source: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office)

Copyright 2020 KSLA. All rights reserved.