Iowa agency didn’t act soon enough on starved teen
DES MOINES (AP) — More than three years after the starvation death of a 16-year-old girl in West Des Moines, an Iowa investigation says state workers didn’t act soon enough on child-abuse reports about her and her siblings and didn’t identify or contact important witnesses.
An emaciated Natalie Finn weighed only 81 pounds when she died in October 2016, officials have said. Her adoptive mother, Nicole Finn, was sentenced to life in prison. Her adoptive father, Joseph Finn II, was given 30 years behind bars.
An investigation report issued Monday by the state ombudsman’s office said more staffing, training and resources at the state’s top child-protective agency might have made prevented the abuse that led to Natalie’s death.
Three reports were made on the Finn children between 2005 and 2009, but records for them were “scant or nonexistent” due to Department of Human Services policies on maintaining child abuse records, the ombudsman’s report said.