A Kansas City, Missouri mother has been arrested and charged for locking her 10-year-old daughter in a closet, and not allowing her to eat, sleep or go to the bathroom, ABC News is reporting. The girl only weighted 32 pounds, and she only gained six pounds since she was four or five-years-old, according to a police statement. The girl also has multiple healing skin injuries, the statement said.
Kansas City Police Capt. Steve Young said “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.” Police officers went to the family’s apartment building on Friday morning after Missouri Children’s Division workers received a call about the girl being locked up.
When police and Missouri Children’s Division workers arrived at the building, the mother, 29-year-old Jacole Prince, was out with her two younger children. Maintenance let the police inside, according to the police’s probable cause statement.
When officers noticed a crib pushed against a closet door that was tied with rope, they asked, “Is anyone in here?” A child’s voice answered, “Yes.” The girl was found standing in the closet, and told officers the closest was her room.
When she was taken to the hospital, the girl told police that she hadn’t been let out of the closet for two days. She added that she doesn’t eat every day, and isn’t allowed to play outside with her sisters.
Prince allegedly admitted to locking her daughter in part because she knew she would get in trouble if anyone saw how malnourished she had become. She was charged with assault in the first degree, child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree.
Written by: Karen Benardello