Family fighting to find answers to what happened weeks leading to 3-year-old Olivia Jansen’s death

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Wyandotte County judge is reviewing 3-year-old Olivia Jansen’s DCF records before making a decision whether or not to release her file to the public.

While he did not rule on the Sunshine Request made by FOX4 for the file, here was a bombshell that came out of Wednesday’s proceedings. Olivia’s DCF file is 533 pages, a significant amount for a child who was just 3-years-old when she died of abuse.

“It goes back to the transparency, I mean, nobody talks to me,” said Olivia’s grandfather Howard Jansen II, who says the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office has neglected to communicate with the family.

Olivia’s grandfather wants to know what led to Olivia’s death. The 3-year-old was found beaten and buried in a shallow grave in KCK July 10. His son, Howard Jansen, III and his girlfriend Jacqulyn Kirkpatrick are charged with the young girl’s murder.

“I lost a son, but there’s no way I can mourn him because most of what I feel he did, what I know he did,” the elder Jansen said. “I just I want to make it about Olivia. Olivia needs justice.”

Part of that justice, Jansen believes, is finding out the truth about prior abuse, which the family suspected and reported.

In July, Jansen’s wife Elisabeth told FOX4 about a call she made to DCF just three weeks before Olivia was killed, concerned for the child’s safety. That call, is outlined in a summary released July 31 by the Kansas Division of Children and Families as a result of an open records request filed by FOX4. It also mentions another call to the agency February 28.

What else is in the 533 page DCF report turned over to Wyandotte County Jugde Michael Russell is what Oliva’s family wants to know.

“Unless somebody up there explains to me, you know, where I understand why, I’m gonna feel like it’s more of the cover up and I feel there is a cover up going on,” Jansen said.

Both the prosecution and defense teams objectied to the release of the file, defense attorneys argued DCF reports could be based on speculation and its release could affect Jansen and Kirkpatrick’s right to a fair trial.

“My deal is I don’t see the objection. Because I feel if it’s the truth, how does the truth getting out hurt anything? “ Jansen said. “The powers that be need to start showing people that justice will be served. Hiding things, I don’t believe is the way to do it.”

Judge Michael Russel hopes to have his decision made within two weeks.

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