A Kansas City mother allegedly lived with the body of her 5-year-old after her severe neglect led to the child’s death, before finally calling 911, according to a report by the Kansas City Star.
According to documents filed in Jackson County Circuit Court, 43-year-old Adair Fish called 911 on Nov. 3, 2022, just before 4:30 p.m. to report the death of one of her daughters, and that the twin sister was unresponsive. The Star adds that Fish allegedly told the dispatcher that her daughter had been dead for a prolonged period of time.
Upon responding to the 5700 block of St. John Avenue, emergency personnel and police encountered a strong stench of decomposition, the Star states. Inside, they found insect activity and debris piled a few feet atop the floor, before they found the child wrapped in blankets among the mess and in an “advanced state of decomposition”, the court documents say.
Both children were rushed to the hospital, the Star adds.
Northeast News reports that when police executed a search warrant, they found the apartment to be covered in trash, food, and several other miscellaneous items piled two to five feet high on the floor.
A medical examiner determined the child’s cause of death to be malnutrition and dehydration, Northeast News says. The twin, who survived, weighed the same as a 20-month old, and was diagnosed with chronic severe malnutrition, neglect of dental, medical, and environment, psychological maltreatment, isolation with the lack of a responsible caregiver, abnormal attachment behaviors, and concern for physical abuse due to bruising, Northeast News explains.
The Star adds that a doctor’s note implies the child may suffer permanent effects on her future growth and cognitive development.
Fish faces several charges: one count of child abuse resulting in death, one count of child abuse with serious injury, one count of first-degree child endangerment resulting in death, and one count of child endangerment resulting in serious injury, the Star reports.
Both media outlets report that Fish lost custody of her children previously, but they were returned to her on Nov. 15, 2019. Fish is being held without bond, Northeast News reports.
Update: KCTV5 reports that as of Dec. 6, 2022, the child’s death has been ruled a homicide and charged have been filed. The little girl, named Ivy House, died six days before her fifth birthday.