Mom Charged With Locking Girl in Closet, Starving Her

'LP' is 10 years old, but weighs just 32 pounds
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2012 8:16 AM CDT
Jacole Prince has been arrested for child abuse after her 10-year-old daughter was found locked in a closet, weighing just 32 pounds.   (Kansas City police)

(Newser) – An anonymous call to a child-abuse hotline led police to 10-year-old girl who weighed just 32 pounds, locked in a closet and surrounded by her own waste, reports the Kansas City Star. Identified only as "LP," the girl told police she was rarely allowed to leave the closet and often went days without being fed. LP's mother, Jacole Prince, has been arrested and charged with assault, child abuse, and endangering a child’s welfare.

Prince's two other, younger daughters seem to have been raised normally and are in good health, but were taken into protective custody. Longtime neighbors said they only knew about the two girls and never saw LP. Prince told investigators that she did not allow LP to leave the house because the girl looked so malnourished she could get into trouble. "But amazingly, as children tend to surprise all of us, she had very good spirits. She was very cooperative with police. She let them know she doesn’t want to go back home,” says the prosecutor, hailing the anonymous tip for saving LP from "a horrendous situation." (Read more child abuse stories.)

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