Girl Found In Closet Taken From Mom’s Care Six Years Ago

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A ten-year old girl, weighing only 32 pounds when she was found inside a closet on Friday, June 22, had been neglected by her mother six years ago, according to a weekend report in the Kansas City Star.

Records from Jackson County show the girl weighed just 26 pounds when she was four years old in 2006.  At that time, the child was taken away from her mother, Jacole Prince, until Prince could prove she was meeting state requirements in caring for her daughter.

Records show Prince apparently proved she was a fit mother and her daughter was returned to her.

Little is known about the child after that until a tip into a hotline that led welfare workers and police to Prince’s home in the 1300 block of Highland. According to the Kansas City Missouri School District, the last time she was registered in school was in 2006 when she was in kindergarten.

The girl, known only as “L.P.” was soiled and malnourished when she was discovered locked in the small, cramped closet. She had no place to use the bathroom. She was so small, she fits in toddler-size clothing.

Related: Police Describe Conditions of Closet Where Girl Was Locked

“She said she was very frail, skinny, dirty, and her eyes were swollen shut,” said Aishah Coppage, a next-door neighbor whose daughter saw L.P. as authorities brought her out of the home and took her away in an ambulance.

“She never talked about a third child,” Coppage said. “The kids never talked about having an older brother, sister.”

L.P. has two sisters, according to police, who appear to be well-cared for and whom neighbors see often playing outside. They are 2 and 8 years old. They have been removed from the care of their mother.

FOX 4’s Rob Low tried to talk to Marcus Benson, 34, the father of the other two girls.

“You guys need to leave me alone!” a woman at Benson’s address yelled.

Benson has denied knowing L.P. was in the urine and feces-filled closet but neighbors question the truth in that.

“Heck no,” said Coppage. “He knew the whole time. he knew. He was aware of it. He just didn’t care, like he said out of his own mouth– ‘Cause it wasn’t his child. What I’m supposed to do? That’s her oldest not mine.’ That his words.”

So far, Benson has not been charged with anything related to L.P.’s condition.

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