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Family of 5-year-old who died from horrific abuse says state officials returned her to her mother after previous neglect
Image Source: WXIN-TV YouTube video screenshot composite

Family of 5-year-old who died from horrific abuse says state officials returned her to her mother after previous neglect

The family of a 5-year-old who died from severe neglect is furious at the state government officials who returned the girl to her mother after a previous case of child abuse.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said they were called to a mobile home park over a call about an unresponsive child on Tuesday at about 5:15 p.m.

They discovered Kinsleigh Welty inside the home and transported her to Riley Hospital for treatment over severe malnutrition, but she died some time later.

Court records say that police interviewed the girl's mother, Toni McClure, who initially tried to blame the abuse on the girl's father. When that story fell apart, police say she confessed to neglecting her daughter but added that she simply didn't care.

Investigators said the girl was forced to live in a small closet covered with feces.

Police said the girl had feces in her hair and on her feet and lice on her head. She also weighed less at age 5 than she had weighed when she was 2 years old.

McClure allegedly admitted to locking the girl in the closet and said the girl would ask for food, but she did the bare minimum to feed her. She also said that she thought her actions might lead to her daughter's death but that she wanted to be rid of the girl.

Police arrested her for murder after she made the comments.

They also arrested her boyfriend Ryan Smith for neglect resulting in death. McClure was also charged with neglect resulting in death.

"Wasn't a parent, she was a monster."

Brian Welty, the grandfather of the girl, called her death "horrific" in a statement to WXIN-TV.

“It’s going to obviously be a memory I’ll have my entire life, that my granddaughter basically starved to death and it could have been avoided," he added.

The family says that McClure had previously been charged with neglect when Kinsleigh had only been 3 weeks old. A judge suspended the woman's sentence and gave her 400 days of parole. The family says that they were willing to take care of Kinsleigh, but officials have a policy of reuniting children with their parents.

“We were planning on keeping her, but DCS has their policy of reunification and that’s horrible,” Welty explained. “Reunification from the get-go is the problem in my eyes because no matter what the parent does their goal is reunification.”

“The system has failed this poor child and I don’t want her death to be in vain,” said Hogan. “Twice they were taken away for the abuse and neglect and she just kept getting them back. No one knows why. It’s a failed system.”

Indiana Department of Child Services Chief Chris Bailey called the death "horrific" in a statement that thanked the officials who handled the case.

"This little girl had no chance whatsoever," said the girl's great step-aunt Carrie Hogan. "She had a parent who, well, she wasn't a parent, she was a monster, who failed her in every way."

“She’s a wicked woman. That’s all I can say,” Welty added.

Here's more about the incident:

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Carlos Garcia

Carlos Garcia

Staff Writer

Carlos Garcia is a staff writer for Blaze News.