Records released for girl, 10, found starving in closet

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- State records involving the 10-year-old Kansas City girl found starving in a closet last summer have finally been released by the Missouri Department of Social Services.

The girl, known only by her initials L.P., weighed just 32 pounds when she was rescued by police and child protection workers. She was found on June 22, 2012 after an anonymous tip to the state's child abuse hotline.

State records in the case total more than 1,200 pages and many names are redacted.

FOX 4 has not finished reading through the entire file, but has learned that L.P. was first placed in foster care in 2006. Her mother, Jacole Prince, had brought L.P. to Children's Mercy Hospital in Oct. 2005 because she thought L.P. had poisoned herself by drinking Pine Sol.

Doctors discovered L.P. was extremely malnourished and suffering from neglect. Prince admitted to doctors in 2005 that she withheld food as punishment because L.P. wasn't potty trained.

L.P. was placed in foster care in early 2006, but was soon given to her mother's boyfriend, Marcus Benson. State records suggest L.P's biological father is in jail. Benson is the father of Jacole Prince's two younger daughters, who are now 9 and 3. State records indicate Jacole Prince regained custody in 2007 after attending parenting classes.

What FOX 4 hasn't been able to determine, is exactly what kind of follow through, if any, social workers made between 2007 and 2012 to ensure L.P.'s health and development. It turns out L.P. started in 2006 Kindergarten but was pulled out of school and never returned.

A state caseworker described Prince as "motivated" in 2006 to get L.P. back. But after regaining custody, doctors at Children's Mercy found that L.P. received no medical care between 2007 and 2012 and weighed more when they first treated her at age 4, then when she was rescued from a closet six years later.

Jacole Prince is awaiting trial on child abuse charges. Her boyfriend Marcus Benson has since pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a minor and received probation.
email: rob.low@wdaftv4.com
twitter: @fox4roblow

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.