A Burnsville couple face neglect charges after police found their developmentally delayed son barricaded in a filthy room, according to court papers filed in Dakota County.

Delilah Worcester, 30, and Andrew Worcester, 31, allegedly neglected their son, who court papers say was fed laxative after laxative and often left screaming and banging his head on his bedroom floor until it got too loud for the parents to ignore.

According to court papers, the boy's body was covered with sores when police found him during a recent search of the garbage-strewn house, where a dozen animals lived with the boy, his three siblings, his mother and his developmentally delayed father.

The documents provide conflicting ages for the boy; some say he's 7, others 10. He is described as nonverbal and having multiple medical problems.

According to a person who lived with the family for two months but isn't named in court papers, the boy was rarely clothed, and his bedroom was typically much colder than the rest of the house. That person told authorities the boy was barricaded in his room daily and once for up to three days.

He was allegedly allowed to eat only in his room, with his hands, out of a paper bag. The parents would not clean him after eating, the person reported.

Social workers had long suspected a problem in the home but closed an earlier case last May after the mother failed to meet with them last spring.

Then, on Jan. 18, child protection workers contacted Burnsville police about the family, who live at 1186 McAndrews Road, providing a March 2010 assessment. It included a Mayo Clinic doctor's report of medical neglect by the mother. The doctor said she held back her son's medication, causing him to be hospitalized.

The mother has claimed the child has chronic and severe constipation, "causing him to act out," court papers say.

"Despite the fact that a Mayo Clinic pediatrician and a Mayo clinic gastroenterologist have both stated that the child does not need surgery and does not need any further laxatives, the mother is still seeking out someone to perform surgery on him, and in the interim, is [giving him] a great deal of laxatives," according to a child protection petition.

The boy allegedly was being locked in his room, with a couch pushed in front of the door.

Police searched the Worcester home on Jan. 28 and found the boy trapped in a room where a food-covered tarp covered the carpet. Feces were smeared on walls and window blinds.

The boy and his siblings remain in foster care.

Delilah and Andrew Worcester are to appear in court next month on the gross-misdemeanor neglect charges. Efforts to reach them for comment were not successful.

Joy Powell • 952-882-9017