Invisible Children

Child of Jacole Prince

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.

On June 22, 2012, child welfare workers responding to a child abuse tip found a child locked in a small closet. At ten years old the girl, called LP in court records and news reports, weighed only 32 pounds. While her younger sister attended school and was well fed, LP was kept home and spent her days in darkness. If she soiled herself, she was beaten by her mother or her mother’s boyfriend. Neighbors reported that they did not even know LP existed. In 2005 and 2006, state child welfare workers had been involved in the family as a result of Prince’s neglect of LP. At one point LP had been hospitalized for malnutrition, and she and her younger sister spent time in foster care. Prince took parenting classes, received her GED, and found new housing. She was determined competent and in March 2007 she was given custody of both girls. A month later LP stopped attending school and was removed from the school’s enrollment records. While news reports do not mention whether Prince told the school she would be homeschooling LP, the state’s homeschooling law is so lax that parents are not required to provide notification to a child’s school when withdrawing a child to homeschool.

Date: June 22, 2012
Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Documents: Date:
First court appearance for mom charged with starving, locking girl in closet 2012-06-25
Court documents: Mom repeatedly abused child locked in closet 2012-07-13
How a malnourished girl got help from the Missouri system, then vanished 2012-07-02
State releases records on malnourished KC girl 2013-05-02
Neighbors of girl trapped in closet didn’t know she was there 2013-05-02
Calls from jail reflect the thoughts of LP’s mother 2013-08-03