Fort Smith/Fayetteville News | 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS | Get the local news and weather where you live from 5NEWS. Covering Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Bentonville, and all of Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

Police Suspect Abuse After Child Found Locked In Conway Home With Sexual Aids, Drugs

CONWAY, Ark. (KATV) — According to the Log Cabin Democrat, an Arkansas couple is facing charges after a Conway Corporation employee reportedly found a young chi...

According to the Log Cabin Democrat, an Arkansas couple is facing charges after a Conway Corporation employee reportedly found a young child locked in a room with bowls of water and Cheetos on Thursday.

Reports state that police believe two children at the home were possibly sexually abused after speaking with the couple and finding drug paraphernalia and sexual aids that were within reach of the one and two-year-old children.

On Thursday, officers with the Conway Police Department went to the home in the 2200 block of Stout Street after the Conway Corp. employee alerted them that a one-year-old child was locked in a bedroom.

According to an affidavit, "officers attempted to make contact for several minutes and finally James Shaw answered the door. Officers requested to see the children and Shaw went to the bedroom door which had a latch locking it from the outside."

The two-year-old was found in the room that was locked from the outside. Police then requested that a Department of Human Services representative come to the scene. The DHS worker helped conduct a home inspection and found dog bowls on the floor of the room that the two-year-old was locked in. According to the affidavit, one of the bowls was filled with water and the other contained Cheetos.

Officials found the one-year-old child in a separate bedroom with 26-year-old Chelsie Vajentic. Authorities noted that there were drug paraphernalia and sexual aids in the room "within reach of the child."

DHS took custody of the children and the couple was arrested on suspicion of endangering the welfare of a minor.

As he was arrested, Shaw reportedly became adamant that he needed to use his computer immediately “to conduct speed tests for work.” However, after police reached out to the man’s employer, they learned the 28-year-old “had already taken a personal day and had no reason to log onto his computer.”

An officer gave the one-year-old animal crackers as the investigation continued, and the child reportedly "began to rip the face off one of the cookies and put it between the legs of her teddy bear."

"I have reason to believe, to the observed conduct of the children and the living conditions, there is a high probability that they are also being exposed to sexual abuse," Detective Taylor Worley said. “Also, due to James' urgency to get onto his computer, there is potential evidence on the computer that confirms the abuse.”

During a search warrant, authorities found multiple cell phones, glass pipes, a jar of suspected marijuana, a grinder, vape pens, sex toys, a laptop, a hard drive, a flash drive, and a computer.

The couple was arrested Thursday morning and had posted bond by 9:30 p.m. that night.