Brian Gore, 29, asked for a court-appointed lawyer, the Newport News Daily Press reported. His wife, Shannon, 24, has retained a lawyer and was not in court.
The couple are charged with the attempted murder of a daughter found in a crib converted to a cage. While investigators say the girl is 5 or 6 years old, Gore allegedly told police she was only 2. She was naked, very thin and eating flaking pieces of her own skin when she was discovered.
Investigators found the body of a small child buried in the Gores' yard. They lived in a trailer park in Gloucester.
Both Brian and Shannon had MySpace pages, WAVY-TV, Hampton Roads, Va., reported. Hers showed a picture of a sonogram, while his showed photos of five cars.
A neighbor told WAVY people knew about their youngest child, Connor.
"Everybody that I know that knew Shannon, nobody knew that she had two other children," the neighbor said.