A mother in Kansas City, Missouri has been arrested and charged with keeping her 10-year-old daughter locked in a closet.
The malnourished girl weighed just 32 pounds and she has apparently only gained about 6 pounds since she was 4 or 5 years old, according to a police statement. The girl also suffers from “multiple healing skin injuries and failure to thrive,” the statement said.
“She weighed a little over a third of what a 10-year-old should weigh,” said Kansas City Police Capt. Steve Young. “We don’t know how long or how frequently she’s been in there [the closet], but it’s clear she’d spent a significant amount of time in there.”
Local police met Missouri Children’s Division employees outside the apartment on Friday morning after the division got a tip about a girl who was locked up in a closet and forbidden to eat or use the bathroom.
When neighbors found out, they said they’d never even known that a third child lived there.
“We never knew of her the whole three years we’ve been down here,” said Kimberly Kelley. “She told us she only had two kids.”
When officers arrived, the mother, 29-year-old Jacole Prince, was out with her two younger kids, but maintenance workers let the police in, according to the probable cause statement.
When officers spotted a crib on the second floor pushed up against a closet door, they asked, “Is anyone in here?”
A child’s voice responded, “Yes.”
The girl was found standing in the closet. She told officers “the closet was her room.”
She said her mother frequently gets angry and “punches her on the back” because she “keeps peeing on herself.”
That night, police arrested the girl’s mom and her boyfriend.
The girl’s mother has since been charged with assault in the first degree, child abuse, and endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree, all felonies.
More in the video below.
- 32-pound 10-year-old found locked in Missouri closet (foxnews.com)
- Jacole Prince Locked Daughter In Closet, Missouri Police Say (huffingtonpost.com)
- Police find 10-year-old kept in closet (kshb.com)