Invisible Children

Natalie Finn, and 4 siblings

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.

Natalie Jasmine Finn, age 16, was imprisoned, tortured, and starved to death by her parents, Nicole Marie Finn and Joseph Michael Finn II. Natalie’s 15-year-old brother and 14-year-old sister were also starved, imprisoned, and tortured. An older brother, Alexander Kendal Finn (age 23), and another 15-year-old sibling were not reported to be abused. Natalie was homeschooled.

The Finns divorced in 2011 and were living separately but had joint custody of the children. At least one of the minor children was adopted and Natalie and her sister and brother were reported to have disabilities. Natalie attended an alternative school, Walnut Creek Campus, in the 2014-2015 school year, but was subsequently homeschooled. Natalie often wore the same clothes to school and asked other students for food or money. Once she told a friend she did not have shoes and her feet were blistered. In May 2016, the mother of one of Natalie’s school friends reported to child protective services that Natalie asked her for extra food for herself and her siblings; police went to the home but no one answered the door. Other neighbors reported that they rarely saw the children, and that Natalie had asked them for money, food, and clothes on multiple occasions. According to court documents, Natalie and her siblings were locked in the house and subjected to “unreasonable force, torture or cruelty”.

The abuse came to light when emergency services were dispatched to Natalie’s home after she had a heart attack from starvation. She later died at the hospital. Nicole Finn was charged with first-degree murder; both Finns were also charged with kidnapping, child endangerment, and neglect.

Date: October 24, 2016
West Des Moines, Iowa


Documents: Date:
Death of 16-year-old sparks police investigation 11-01-2016
Teen who died had asked neighbors for food, clothes 11-03-2016
Girl, 16, ‘was tortured and starved to death by her own parents in house of horrors where she was kept imprisoned with her two younger siblings’ 12-10-2016
Court documents: Teen, siblings were tortured by parents 12-10-2016
Teenager ‘starved and tortured to death by her own parents’ 12-10-2016
Iowa parents arrested in teen daughter’s starvation to death 12-10-2016
Attorney: Starved teen’s death reveals Iowa child welfare neglect 12-21-2016
‘Numerous’ abuse reports made in starved child case, lawmaker says 12-29-2016