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Out of the Ordinary

10-year-old girl locked in closet found weighing 32 pounds

Sara Hall

A 10-year-old girl locked in a closet was found weighing 32 pounds.

Girl had two other sisters who were “spoiled”

A 10-year-old girl was found in a closet on Friday in Kansas City after her mother had locked her in for a prolonged period of time, leaving her to become malnourished. When found, the girl weighed 32 pounds.

Officers were tipped off about the girl on Friday by a call from a child abuse hotline. The 10-year-old girl locked in the closet was then removed from the public housing home and brought to an ambulance.

The 10-year-old girl locked in the closet was reportedly reeking of urine when she was found. She was seen wearing a soiled white, toddler-sized shirt and no shoes.

The mother of the 10-year-old girl locked in the closet faces charges of assault, child abuse and child endangerment in Jackson County Circuit Court. The mother’s identity has not yet been released.

Neighbors said they were not even aware of the 10-year-old girl locked in the closet’s existence.

“We are all still shocked,” neighbor Aishah Coppage, 28, told AP Sunday. “We never knew there was a third child.”

The 10-year-old-girl locked in the closet also had two sisters, ages 2 and 8, who were reportedly well taken care of. In an interview with the Associated Press, Coppage described them as clean, happy and even “spoiled.”

“You could never assume anything was going on from the way they looked,” she said. “They seemed spoiled to me because I never saw them get disciplined. It seemed like they didn’t want for nothing.”

The closet in which the girl was believed to be locked in was backed up to Coppage’s stairwell. Coppage said she never heard anything suspicious, such as cries for help or pounding on the walls, but also said music was often playing from the neighboring apartment.

According to the probable cause statement, the mother of the girl told police that she didn’t let her leave the house because she knew she is malnourished and would “get in trouble if someone saw her.”

Mansur, the prosecutor’s spokesman, said the mother of the 10-year-old girl locked in the closet hasn’t said why she particularly singled out the oldest girl.

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