5-year-old was starved, kept in closet before her death, Indiana cops say. Mom charged

Three people have been arrested in connection to the death of a 5-year-old Indiana girl, according to police.

At about 5:12 p.m., April 9, Indianapolis police were called to a home for reports of an unresponsive child, according to a Facebook post by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Kinsleigh Welty was found unresponsive in the home and was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead, according to police.

Police say when they found Kinsleigh she appeared “thin with sunken eyes and she had feces on her feet and in her hair,” WRTV reported. The hospital reported she was so malnourished that she weighed less than she did when she was two-and-a-half years old, the news outlet reported.

“Traumatized. It’s horrific, words can’t describe it. You feel guilty to eat sometimes,” Kinsleigh’s grandfather Brian Welty told the station.

The Indiana Department of Children Services removed other children from the home, according to police.

Kinsleigh’s mom, 29-year-old Toni McClure, was arrested and charged with murder and neglect resulting in death, according to police. Her boyfriend, 27-year-old Ryan Smith, was also charged with neglect of a child resulting in death.

Police say when they questioned McClure she initially blamed the abuse on Kinsleigh’s dad, but that story fell apart, WANE reported. McClure then told police she knew she was treating her daughter wrong and that she wanted Kinsleigh out of her life, the news outlet reported.

“The circumstances of Kinsleigh’s death are horrific and beyond comprehension. No human being, let alone a child should be treated like she was. These alleged suspects, if convicted, should never step foot outside a prison,” Police Chief Chris Bailey said.

Police said McClure admitted to locking Kinsleigh in a closet routinely and putting little effort into feeding her, WANE reported.

“As far as I’m concerned, she was not a mother, she was a monster,” Kyla Welsh, Kinsleigh’s cousin, told WRTV. “It’s unimaginable what we’re dealing with right now.”

On April 12, Kinsleigh’s 53-year-old grandmother, Tammy Halsey, was also arrested and charged with neglect of a dependent, according to police.

Attorney information for McClure, Smith and Halsey was not available.

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