Watch CBS News

Couple Accused Of Locking 9-Year-Old Son In Closet And Nailing Door Shut Before Leaving For Birthday Party

WESTMORELAND COUNTY (KDKA) -- A couple in Westmoreland County is accused of locking their son in a bedroom closet and nailing the door shut.

According to the criminal complaint, Shawn and Tammy Jo Waulk went to a birthday party and left their 9-year-old son alone at their Unity Township home.

They allegedly put him in a closet and used a drill to screw in wood slats across the door so he could not escape.

childabuse Shawn and Tammy Jo Waulk
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Investigators say they left him in the closet while they were gone for 1 1/2 hours.

The Westmoreland County Children and Youth Services received a tip and alerted police.

According to the complaint, the boy told Children and Youth Services that he was locked in the closet on three other occasions.

His parents used screws, nails, wood and a light cord to secure the door.

He told investigators he escaped one time and got into trouble.

The couple said they started using the closet as a time-out space and had recently secured the door to keep their son from escaping.

Investigators say Shawn Waulk admitted his son would not be able to escape the room if there was an emergency while they were away from their home.

The couple is charged with endangering the welfare of a child, false imprisonment and recklessly endangering the welfare of another person.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.