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Mother admits to locking her young daughter in a closet and starving her to near death

By Mason White 11:38 AM January 9, 2014
Locked closet illustration 

By: Debbie Gross
(Scroll down for video) A woman was arrested, charged and convicted of child abuse after being accused of locking her daughter into a closet, according to court proceedings in Missouri.

Now, in exchange for a lighter sentence, Jacole Prince pleaded guilty on Tuesday, to locking her 10-year-old daughter in a closet, among other crimes. When police found the child she weighed just 32 pounds.

The woman faces up to 20 years in prison. Prince initially hesitated before her attorney persuaded her into pleading guilty.

The case attracted significant attention in 2012, when she was discovered locked in a closet at her home in Kansas City. She was not let out even to sleep or use the bathroom.

Prosecutors said that doctors were willing to testify that the actions of Prince will have effects on the physical and emotional development of her daughter, who has already undergone a heart transplant surgery since she was rescued by police.

Prince acknowledged neglecting to feed her daughter every day and tying the door of her closet with shoe strings. The 10- year-old, whose name has not been revealed, had not attended school since kindergarten.

Prince pleaded guilty to assault, child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.