Wilmington couple charged with human trafficking, child neglect

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Michael Louis Kupper and Cheyenne Lashae Kupper.
Michael Louis Kupper and Cheyenne Lashae Kupper.

A Wilmington couple faces allegations of human trafficking of an adult female for more than a year, along with several child neglect charges.

Michael Kupper, 35, and Cheyenne Kupper, 33, were arrested Friday at their home in the 700 block of South 16th Street, where police executed a search warrant at their residence, according to Wilmington Police Department Spokeswoman Cathryn Lindsay.

On March 21, 2015, police responded to New Hanover Regional Medical Center where the 27-year-old victim in the case was being treated for non-life threatening injuries, including bruises, Lindsay said. Detectives then began an investigation that resulted in an allegation the woman was being held at the Kuppers’ home against her will between February 2015 and June 2016.

The victim has since been released from the hospital, Lindsay said. While officers were serving the search warrant at the Kuppers’, they found several of the couple’s children in the home living in a situation that was a “poor condition” for the children, which led to the child neglect charges, Lindsay said.

The couple has been charged with one count of human trafficking of an adult victim and six counts of child abuse or neglect resulting in serious injury. According to jail records, Michael Kupper faces an additional charge of child abuse or neglect resulting in serious physical injury. Lindsay said the investigation is ongoing.

Michael and Cheyenne Kupper are each being held at the New Hanover County Jail under $1 million secured bonds.

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