An Iowa mom is behind bars after police say she severely neglected and abused her 16-year-old adopted daughter, Natalie Finn, resulting her in her eventual death.
And chilling testimony about the adoptive mother, Nicole Finn, from her young son is shedding new light on the horrible conditions the woman’s children were forced to live under.
According to the Des Moines Register, Nicole often kept three of her children locked up in a urine-soaked room with only blankets to sleep on.West Des Moines Police Department
They would have to ask permission to eat or use the bathroom, but she often denied their requests.
Her son, 16-year-old Jaden Finn, said that she would refuse to feed them for long periods of time. At one point, he said he went without food for two weeks.
Natalie and Jaden’s younger sister, Mikayla, said that she once got so hungry she hung a handwritten sign on the window that read “Need food and money,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
Nicole had another teenage son, Nathan, who was not subjected to the same abuse as the other children for unclear reasons. He was given his own bedroom and was allowed to come and go.
But the other three children allegedly didn’t go to school for months. The home was visited by a state social worker, Amy Sacco, in August 2016.
She claims the three children were uncooperative and that Natalie told her to “f*** off” because Nicole was a “good mom,” reported the Des Moines Register.
“I asked her why she was panhandling for food. She said she was addicted to sweets and her mom would not allow her to have sweets.”
Sacco eventually left after questioning the children. And in October 2016, 16-year-old Natalie succumbed to the abuse.
Jaden said that he awoke one evening to find his older sister lying in vomit and she didn’t appear to be breathing. He called in his mother, who performed CPR, but it was too late.
It was later announced that she had died of cardiac arrest, reported Independent Journal Review.
In the days leading up to her death, Jaden said that she had become very weak and couldn’t get up. He claims their mother responded:
“She said, ‘Since you’re not going to get up, I’m not going to feed you.'”
Following her death, Nicole was charged with child endangerment, kidnapping, and first-degree murder, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Her ex-husband, Joe Finn, was also charged with kidnapping, neglect or abandonment and child endangerment. He didn’t live with the family at the time of her death.
Amy Sacco, the social worker, who spoke with the children in the months before Natalie’s death, was fired for mishandling their case.
Nicole and Joe Finn have both pleaded not guilty. Watch KCCI’s coverage of the case below: