A 10-year-old girl found locked in a urine-soaked closet and severely malnourished continues on the long road to recovery. Local experts say her case of abuse is not all that uncommon.
The little girl weighed less than half what she should, and was stuck in the closet likely for months, maybe years. Her mother, Jacole N. Prince, 29, is charged with first-degree assault, abuse of child and first-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
Inside an apartment, a little girl's world shrank to the 3 by 6 closet where investigators say her mother kept her locked up. A place with very little food, where bathroom and bedroom were one and the same.
"This became normal behavior for her. We know it not to be normal, we know it to be completely atrocious," Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said. "Children perceive things differently and she was trying to survive in a horrible environment."
The little girl is now recovering physically at the hospital. But the next step will be to teach the girl life shouldn't always be a struggle to survive.
That is where groups like The Children's Place come in to help in the long road to mental health recovery.
"Let them know that there are adults in their world that can keep them safe, there are adults who will treat them well. They can have that normal childhood. They can get food when they're hungry, they can get help when they're hurting," said Roxane Hill, vice president of development at the Children's Place in Kansas City.
Hill says, while this case is shocking, sadly it is not unusual.
"We have had children who have not been fed, we have had children who have been locked away," Hills said.
Each case takes special care, a different approach from adult trauma counseling.
"They'll use play therapy, they'll use some art, seeing tables, those types of things to help them tell their story, tell the trauma story for them to be healed," she said.
A process of opening the girl's mind, now that the doors around her are no longer closed.
An anonymous tipster called the child abuse hotline at the Division of Family Services bringing that life-saving help from Kansas City police.
Experts at The Children's Place say that is an important reminder, that if anyone sees signs of child abuse, they should report it.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information on obituaries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends in Mid-Michigan. Death notices are displayed during theMore >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends who have lost loved ones.More >
Saturday, December 7 2013 5:55 PM EST2013-12-07 22:55:48 GMT
The state of Michigan is dodging an icy storm that has been sweeping across much of the country.A late fall cold snap has gripped much of the country and forced people to deal with frigid temperatures.More >
Sunday, December 8 2013 11:17 AM EST2013-12-08 16:17:28 GMT
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Michigan State shook up the BCS title chase again Saturday night. The No. 10 Spartans regained the lead on Connor Cook's 9-yard touchdown pass to Josiah Price with 11:41 left andMore >
Michigan State shook up the BCS title chase again Saturday night. The No. 10 Spartans regained the lead on Connor Cook's 9-yard touchdown pass to Josiah Price with 11:41 left and upset No. 2 Ohio State 34-24 to take the Big Ten title and put Auburn back in the national title hunt.More >
Friday, December 6 2013 2:50 PM EST2013-12-06 19:50:32 GMT
Lansing police say three people are dead in what initial reports by investigators say appears to be a double-murder and suicide. Police said in a statement that they responded about 7:20 p.m. ThursdayMore >
Lansing police say three people are dead in what initial reports by investigators say appears to be a double-murder and suicide.More >
Friday, December 6 2013 6:21 PM EST2013-12-06 23:21:50 GMT
Toy Soliders and the Grinch team up in this unique Christmas display on Center Road in Bay City. But it's the words these characters are holding up, that have some drivers scratching their heads. ManyMore >
Toy Soldiers and the Grinch teamed up in a unique Christmas display in Bay City -- but it's the words these characters are holding up that have some drivers scratching their heads.More >
Friday, December 6 2013 3:49 PM EST2013-12-06 20:49:48 GMT
Frankenmuth police said officers responded to an assault on Thursday which was reported to have happen at the Szechuan House Chinese Restaurant in Frankenmuth. Upon arrival, officers spoke with the victim,More >
Frankenmuth police said officers responded to an assault on Thursday which was reported to have happen at the Szechuan House Chinese Restaurant in Frankenmuth.More >
Friday, December 6 2013 12:57 PM EST2013-12-06 17:57:08 GMT
Saginaw has put more items up for sale on its eBay page, including used equipment, a car and even traffic signals. Some of the things for sale were confiscated by the police department. "Some of theMore >
Saginaw has put more items up for sale on its eBay page, including used equipment, a car and cell phones.More >
Sunday, December 8 2013 1:08 PM EST2013-12-08 18:08:50 GMT
Police are investigating what they call suspicious death that took place inside a home last night. The house is on the 2000 block of Montana Avenue in Saginaw County's Bridgeport Township. SeveralMore >
Police are investigating a suspicious death that took place inside a home in Bridgeport Township.More >
Friday, December 6 2013 2:30 PM EST2013-12-06 19:30:24 GMT
Flint City Councilman Eric Mays said he won't quit his seat on the council despite calls for his resignation by city leaders following his weekend arrest for drunken driving and drug possession. On SaturdayMore >
A newly elected Flint city councilman arrested for drunken driving while cruising the wrong way down a highway with four flat tires says he won't resign his post.More >