KC police find malnourished 10-year-old girl kept in closet

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A 10-year-old girl is spending her first day living outside a closet in the family's apartment at the complex at 1318 Highland.

Missouri Department of Family Services received a tip on their hotline about a girl living in a closet. When DFS and Kansas City Police arrived at the home around 9:30a.m. they found the girl severely malnourished and living in her own feces.

"Give or take a few (pounds) she weighs about a third of what a 10-year-old should weigh," said KCMOPD Captain Steve Young.

Officials believe the girl had been living in the closet for an extended period of time. Officers discovered the closet was her bedroom and bathroom. The closet was rigged where it could only be opened from the outside.

"The baby believed that the closet she was sleeping in was her room, said neighbor Kimberly Coppage.

Neighbors say the mother and her two younger daughters lived in the apartment with her boyfriend. They say the boyfriend was the father of the younger daughters, but not the father of the 10-year-old.

Neighbors never knew the little girl even lived in the apartment. They watched as officers brought her out of the house Friday morning.

"She had on a uniform shirt that was dirty and had on some brown sweatpants her eyes were like black and swollen, said one neighbor.

The 10-year-old girl is now recovering at Children's Mercy Hospital.

The mother and boyfriend are in police custody on a 24 hour hold until prosecutors can figure out charges. The two other daughters are in protective custody.

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