On Friday afternoon authorities discovered the 10-year-old daughter of Jacole Prince locked in a closet, weighing a mere 32 pounds, wearing a tattered shirt and surrounded by her own urine and feces.
On Saturday the 29-year-old Kansas City, Missouri mother was charged with assault, child abuse and endangerment in a Jackson County Circuit Court.
What sparked the authorities investigation of Prince was a call made on Friday to a child abuse hotline. A social worker told two women on the scene upon arrival that Prince had three daughters and that they should all be living at the residence. Their response was tragically telling:
“No, we have lived here for several years, and she only has two daughters that stay here, and we have never seen the other girl, but we heard she stays with the father or an aunt.”
When officers entered the apartment they found a portable crib positioned against a closet door that was tied closed. The young girl answered “yes” when they asked if anyone was in the closet.
The girl informed the cops that her mom had taken her two younger sisters to breakfast but left her entrapped and behind because “she messes herself.” When taken to a nearby hospital it was discovered that the victim had only gained 6 lbs since her last visit at the same hospital over 6 years ago.
She further told the authorities about the nightmare that was her life; that she was put in the closet often, that she didn’t get to eat every day and that she would frequently get in trouble for urinating on herself. As punishment she added that her mother would “punch her on her back real hard.”
The two younger children have been placed in protective custody. At this point the prosecutor’s are unsure as to why Prince had singled the one daughter out for abuse.
When the girl was only 4-years-old her mistreatment and malnourishment was brought to the attention of authorities. Jackson County prosecutor Peters-Baker said they are trying to figure out how the girl slipped through the cracks.
The abused child told the police she “does not want to go back home anymore.” If there’s a silver lining to this horrible story is that the community that failed to protect her previously can now at least make that request become a reality.