Kansas City, MO – A Missouri couple has been charged with first-degree child endangerment, child abuse and neglect, and felonious restraint after authorities found a 9-year-old girl living in unsanitary conditions.
Reports allege that since February she had been made to sleep on an air mattress near an exposed sewage pipe in a dimly lit, dirt floor basement, and had to urinate outside as punishment for a school suspension. However, the cruel disciplinary action continued after she incurred a persistent bladder infection and was unable to control her urination.
The child’s biological father, Timothy A. Phillips, 30, and his live-in girlfriend Lacey A. Chaney, 27, have been accused of imprisoning the girl in the basement, making her urinate and defecate in the backyard – using the blanket she slept with as toilet paper – and providing her with little food or water, according to a Fox News affiliate.
Authorities were alerted by a Korte Elementary School nurse who suspected abuse after the child was sent to her office smelling of urine. The girl stated her “private parts” hurt. Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies went to the home to investigate the claim and question the couple.
The two acknowledged the girl was frequently kept in the basement and made to relieve herself outside because of bladder control issues. Investigators noticed the door to the basement wired up to an alarm and secured with a lock and chain and that the space reeked of bodily fluids. Officers found the girl’s clothing in a small pile outside, covered in filth and mildew.
According to Phillips, the girl’s urinary issues caused her to pee herself often, and he couldn’t afford to keep cleaning up after her inside the home. He acknowledged she was rarely bathed, “every five days or so,” because she didn’t like it. Additionally, Phillips admitted to “popping” the girl in the mouth and spanking her.
The lack of consistent hygiene contributed to the severe and persistent bladder infections, thus promoting uncontrolled urination. The child was made to do her business outside because, according to her father, he didn’t want the infection passed around to others inside the house. Chaney claimed she’d acquired a yeast infection after sharing the same toilet with the girl. Thereafter, the 9-year-old was made to go outside like a dog.
According to Chaney, they had been forced to replace five mattresses due to the girl’s uncontrollable urination and that the kid preferred being down in the basement away from the rest of the family. In contrast, Chaney’s 6-year-old living in the home was given preferential treatment.
When investigators inquired as to why the girl had not been properly treated by a doctor for the infection, Phillips told police, “What difference would it make, [she] is just going to p— on [herself] anyways.”
The victim was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital for evaluation and turned over to the state. The 6-year-old was given to a relative, and the couple was arrested. Chaney and Phillips are being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond.
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