KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City, Mo., couple has been charged with child abuse after a 9-year-old girl was found locked in their basement.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker on Wednesday said Timothy A. Phillips, 29, and Lacey A. Chaney, 27, each face child abuse and neglect charges in addition to felonious restraint charges for the mistreatment of Phillips' 9-year-old daughter.
According to Peters-Baker, a school nurse suspected the 9-year-old was the victim of abuse after the child was sent to her office smelling of urine. The nurse said the girl admitted that her "private parts" hurt.
Jackson County Sheriff's deputies went to the home to question the parents and they acknowledged the girl was kept in the basement.
According to the probable cause, Timothy Phillips, the girl's father, said she had a bladder control problem and would urinate on herself. Phillips told authorities that he "cannot afford to keep cleaning up after [her]." He admitted the girl is bathed "every five days or so" because she does not like it.
According to the probable cause, Phillips acknowledged that not bathing the child has caused severe infections. Phillips said due to the infections the child was forced to urinate and defecate outside because he did not want the infections to be passed on to others in the house. When asked why his daughter was not treated by a doctor, Phillips told police, "What difference would it make, [she] is just going to p--- on [herself] anyways."
Phillips' live-in girlfriend, Lacey Chaney, confirmed much of what Phillips said, adding that she believed the girl urinated on herself to keep others away. Chaney said she contracted a yeast infection after using the same toilet as the girl and since that time the girl was forced to urinate and defecate outside.
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Also living in the home was Chaney's 6-year-old son who received preferential treatment. Chaney was able to name the last time he was seen by a doctor, but could not for the girl.
Deputies examined the home and found it to be generally tidy and well lit with clean bedding and clothes in the bedrooms.
In the probable cause, an officer at the scene described entering the basement.
"The door was secured by a lock and chain and had an alarm affixed to the frame that sounded an audible alarm when opened from the basement," the officer wrote. He described the basement as dimly lit with exposed wires and a leaking sewage pipe. The officer said the basement smelled strongly of urine and noticed a blanket that appeared to be used as toilet paper. He found the girl's clothing in a small pile outside, covered in dirt and smelling of mildew.
The victim was taken to Children's Mercy Hospital for evaluation. While being treated, the child said she could not remember the last time she used the restroom inside her home.
Neighbors said they saw Phillips verbally abuse his daughter. One told FOX 4 that in the winter, the girl was sometimes sent to the bus stop an hour early and without a winter coat.
The girl is the father's biological child, while the boy is the mother's biological child. The boy is staying with a relative.
Chaney and Phillips are being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond.