Note: we are republishing this story in light of recent reports that show child abuse has significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. More on this here: https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-10-08/study-confirms-rise-in-child-abuse-during-covid-pandemic
A teen from Des Moines, Iowa, was found starving, lying on a linoleum floor in her bedroom and wearing an adult diaper.
Natalie Finn reportedly "appeared to have been laying on the floor ... in her own waste for some time" when she was found, according to a police affidavit, and died after being transported to the hospital.
At the time police discovered her, the house smelled of both human and animal feces. Blankets were reportedly "heavily soaked" in urine in the room where the 16-year-old slept with two of her siblings. The bedroom had no beds or other furniture.
"Many animals roamed freely, including well over a dozen kittens and cats," Detective Chris Morgan of West Des Moines police wrote in the affidavit, the Des Moines Register reported. "There were numerous kennels with dogs scattered inside the residence."
The teen's parents, 42-year-old Nicole Finn and 46-year-old Joseph Finn, were arrested for their daughter's death, as well as for neglecting their other children -- both of whom were found to be underweight and suffering from bedsores.
Nicole faces charges of first-degree murder as well as several other felonies, and Joseph faces charges of kidnapping, neglect or abandonment and child endangerment.
During an interview with police, Joseph said he helped his ex-wife nail the windows of the children's room shut after he learned they were sneaking out and "panhandling for food" at a convenience store. Joseph also admitted to replacing the carpet in the bedroom with linoleum, KCRG reported.
Many readers placed blame on Child Protective Services and questioned how others didn't know what was going on.
"Once again CPS drops the ball," one reader commented on Facebook. "Why pay for them at all? What good are they? Didn't teachers notice the kids were not in school? Didn't neighbors think it strange that windows were boarded up? Hope they get some good old fashioned jailhouse justice, for life."
"There is something so wrong in this country when these sort of things seem to happen so often," another wrote. "I know CPS workers have too many cases most of the time, the state(s) need to hire more. But surely there were others who should have noticed -- neighbors, teachers, friends of the children. This damned politically correct world has got to understand that if they see something, for godsake SAY SOMETHING."
"There is no excuse for this to have happened," commented another reader. "There should be some heads rolling over this. Is this how we treat our children? The only comfortI have over this story is that beautiful girl it's under God's arms now and her is not happy with those disgusting devils. So sad. Someone should have known something."