Some people should not be allowed to have kids.
29-year-old Jacole Prince was arrested and charged with assault in the first degree, child abuse, and endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree after law enforcement found her ten-year-old severely malnourished, covered in her own urine and feces and locked in a closet.
ABC News reports:
The girl weighed just 32 pounds, and hospital records indicated that she has only gained 6 pounds since she was 4 or 5 years old, according to a police probable cause 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,” 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.”
Kansas City police met Missouri Children’s Division workers outside the apartment building Friday morning after the division received a hotline call about a girl who was locked up and unable to eat or use the restroom.
When a division worker told two women outside the apartment that three children lived in the apartment, the neighbors said they had never seen the third child even though they’d lived there for “several years.”
“We never knew of her the whole three years we’ve been down here,” Kimberly Kelley, another neighbor, told ABC’s affiliate in Kansas City, KMBC-TV. “She told us she only had two kids.”
The girl was found standing in the closet, according to the statement. She told officers “the closet was her room,” and she couldn’t go to breakfast with her mother and sisters because she “messes herself.” She also sleeps there, she said.
At the hospital, the child told detectives she had not been let out of the closet for two days, and she does not eat every day. She said her mother gets mad and “punches her on the back” because she “keeps peeing on herself.”
She is not allowed to play outside like her sisters, and instead has to play behind the couch, the girl said.
Jacole and her boyfriend were both arrested at his house. Jacole says she hid her daughter because she would get in trouble if someone saw how malnourished and dirty her daughter is. As for the other kids? CBS News says that neighbors told the Associated press, the woman’s other daughters were clean, happy and, if anything, “spoiled.”
The boyfriend is the father of Jacole’s other two kids, but not the ten-year-old. He says he had no idea she was locked in the closet.
There are a lot of questions in this story that will probably be answered when this case goes to trial. Such as, where is the father in this story? And if the boyfriend didn’t know the little girl was locked in a closet, where did he think she was? Were there no grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins or friends who inquired about the child?
Thankfully, the police were tipped off after someone called the child abuse hotline. That phone call likely saved this little girl’s life.
I don’t understand these mothers who treat their children this way. If someone has a child they don’t want, can’t they put them up for adoption or even drop the child off at the foster care office without legal repercussions? There has to be a solution beyond nearly starving a child to death and forcing her to live in her own bodily waste. If this little girl’s dad is still alive, maybe they’ll find him and arrest him too.
What do you think about this story?
Alissa Henry is a freelance writer living in Columbus, OH. Follow her on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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