Iowa teen found dead in diaper; parents charged

Natalie Finn

Natalie Finn

Court documents unsealed this week showed that a 16-year-old Iowa teen was found dead wearing a diaper, while lying on a feces-filled bedroom floor, the Des Moines Register reported. Finn's ex-husband, Joseph Finn, 46, is facing several charges of kidnapping, neglect or abandonment and child endangerment.

The home reeked of both human and animal waste.

Following Natalie's death, her siblings were taken to Blank Children's Hospital with physicians indicating to authorities that the children were underweight.

Natalie Finn was found unresponsive in her adoptive parents' Des Moines, Iowa, home in October of 2016.

A search warrant led to investigators saying there had been a heavy smell of human and animal waste and that Natalie and her siblings shared a room covered in linoleum with "heavily soaked" blankets instead of beds.

"Many animals roamed freely, including well over a dozen kittens and cats", Morgan wrote.

She was taken to hospital but died of cardiac arrest brought on by severe starvation.

'There were numerous kennels with dogs scattered inside the residence'.

McCoy, who received a confidential briefing on the case and has spoken to a DHS investigator who was sacked after Finn's death, told the Register in January that a principal at West Des Moines' alternative high school, Walnut Creek, had reported to child protective workers that Natalie Finn would come to school dirty and hungry.

Authorities concluded Nicole's death was directly related to abuse and neglect at the hands of her parents. The children also did not attend school regularly, although Natalie Finn was being home-schooled by her mother at the time of her death, according to the warrant.

In newly unsealed search warrant documents relating to the couple starving their daughter to death, police details document the extent of the horrors that Natalie Jasmine Finn and her three surviving siblings endured before the eldest girl mortally succumbed.

Both parents have remained in the Polk County Jail since their arrests in December and are awaiting a trial scheduled for October. Officials did not follow up with physical examinations of the teen.

A health worker who investigated the case was sacked after the teenager's death. The senator said the worker told him that it was apparent during interviews with the siblings that they feared Nicole Finn, but that there wasn't enough evidence found to remove them from the home.

Joseph Finn also told investigators that he helped replace the carpet in the children's room with linoleum.

Nicole and Joe Finn both admit removing the furniture and carpeting from the bedroom.

Police say the woman kept the children inside the home against their will to be tortured and starved. Nicole and Joseph did not live in the same house so the kids would occasionally get to visit with their adoptive father.

Natalie's 14-year-old sister was said to have tried to feed Natalie the morning of the teen's death, but the sister said she could not sit up on her own.

Natalie's adoptive mother has been charged with her murder and the abuse and neglect of her siblings.

Natalie was being homeschooled at the time of her death, but tragically the principal at her high school had been anxious about her. He had his own room with furniture, a TV, and was also allowed to cook, Chris said in his affidavit.

Despite their concern and claims from neighbors that she used to ask them for food and clothes, she was allowed to carry on living in the home. Morgan said the police are searching Nicole's iPhone, two iPads, tablet, computers, and other devices for messages between her and Joseph that mention the "declining health and obvious undernourishment".

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