KCMO Couple Charged with Child Endangerment

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Jackson County prosecutors charged a Kansas City couple with assault and child endangerment after authorities discovered a malnourished eight-year-old girl locked in her room.

Jeffrey Kraft, 34, and Michele Kraft, 28, were each charged with one count of first degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child on Friday.

When police officers arrived on the scene they found the victim locked in her bedroom from the outside. She was forced to scrub the floor with bleach because she had urinated on the floor.

According to prosecutors, the room smelled strongly of urine and trash. The child weighed just 42 pounds when authorities discovered her, and according to medical records that is down six pounds from the age of five.

Neighbors told FOX 4 that they hadn't seen the girl or her younger sister in over a year.

"We're outside a lot," said neighbor Julie Appleton. "And I had no inkling that there was any children over there at all.  I just assumed they were with their mother or not there."

According to court documents, the child told police that she was locked in her bedroom for days at a time, and that the Kraft's routinely hit her, and only allowed her to bathe once a month.

"No child should ever have to go through that.  A child is a gift and should never have to endure anything like that at all," said Appleton.

The Krafts are the girl's legal guardians and she and the other children in the house are now in protective custody.

The case is not connected to another child abuse case that surfaced in early July in Kansas City. Jacole Prince and her boyfriend, Marcus Benson, were charged with child endangerment after the woman's 10-year-old daughter was found locked in a furnace closet.

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