Neighbors coping, praying after 10-year-old girl is discovered in closet

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Randall Gilmore wants his neighbors to join him in prayer for the life saved.

"Thank god for delivering this baby from a horrible situation," he said.

He's hoping at least 100 neighbors will join him Wednesday night to pray for the 10-year-old girl rescued from a closet, who was found severely malnourished and kept secret likely for years, in an apartment near 13th Street and Highland Avenue.

"That's why we're glad we have a higher power that can see beyond what we can see," he said. "People can hide a lot from us."

But apparently this child wasn't always hidden. Officials with Kansas City Public Schools say this victim was enrolled in Kindergarten in 2006. That was the last time.

That's around the same time neighbors remembered her mother moving in but never remembered seeing her oldest daughter.

Kaylan Coppage, 12, saw police talking to the victim Friday.

"She didn't have socks and shoes and her eyes were real swollen," she said.

Kaylan lives next door and saw the child so small; she thought she was much younger.

"Like six?" she guessed.

Six is the age of her younger brother, who is half the victim's age and weighs a little more.

His mother says his room backs up to the closet where the victim was kept.

"It's not only sad but it makes you angry," said Aisha Coppage.

So many of these neighbors are furious, because they would have helped if they only knew what was happening.

"She was in there really suffering," cried Shay Whitney. "And that's wrong."

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