An Iowa teenager who starved to death last year was wearing an adult diaper and lying on the linoleum floor of her desolate bedroom when police and paramedics discovered her, recently unsealed court documents revealed.
In an affidavit written by West Des Moines police Det. Chris Morgan, Natalie Finn, 16, “appeared to have been laying on the floor…in her own waste for some time.” The Des Moines Register reported the home reeked of human and animal waste and Flynn—along with her two siblings—slept on urine-soaked blankets as the bedroom had no beds.
Authorities reportedly found the 16-year-old unresponsive and not breathing. The Polk County medical examiner’s office determined Finn died on October 24 from emaciation due to the denial of critical care, according to the New York Post.
Nicole, 42, and Joseph Finn, 46, adopted Natalie in addition to a 15-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl. Two of the three surviving children were reportedly severely underweight and had bedsores when Natalie was found.
Nicole claimed she attempted CPR on the 16-year-old after a sibling found her on the ground with vomit coming out of her mouth. She also said that Natalie had a peanut butter smoothie fed to her by a younger sibling that morning.
Documents detailed how the parents boarded up windows because the children would sneak out to panhandle at a nearby convenience store. Investigators claimed Nicole would manage the children’s food intake to control their behavior. The children also didn’t regularly attend school, according to KCRG.
According to The Register, the principal at the school Natalie attended reported to child protective workers that the teen would often come to school hungry and filthy. During an August visit, police and the Department of Human Services (DHS) found there was “ample” food in the home and Natalie was choosing not to eat. State Sen. Matt McCoy claimed authorities never ordered a physical examination of Natalie.
Joseph, who is no longer married to Nicole, admitted to nailing the windows shut and replacing the bedroom carpet with linoleum. Though the children lived full-time with Nicole, Joseph said the kids were allowed eat and use the restroom freely when they visited him.
The mother also maintained that Natalie and her younger siblings would urinate on the floor “out of spite.” Joseph told investigators that he replaced the carpet because it was soiled from the children’s waste.
The affidavit highlighted another 15-year-old son in the home who was treated better than his three siblings. He was allegedly allowed to cook for the family and slept in a furnished bedroom.
Nicole is facing first-degree murder and other felony charges for Natalie’s death. Joseph was also charged with kidnapping, neglect or abandonment and child endangerment. The pair has remained in jail since their arrest in December.
A trial is scheduled for October.
[Feature Photo: Facebook]