Three people are in custody after Mayes County authorities say a 9-year-old Salina girl was beaten, starved and handcuffed in her home.
Joel Smith, Amanda Smith, and Allison Smith are in custody in Neosho, Missouri and will be returned to Mayes County, News On 6 was told. Mayes County Sheriff's Office said the Smiths are the girl's guardians, and Joel Smith is her biological uncle. She referred to them as her parents and sister in an affidavit because she thinks of them that way, authorities said.
An affidavit of probable cause said a deputy was called to a Salina home April 5 after the little girl was reported missing. She was found nearby and told the deputy she didn't want to go back home because her father, mother, and sister were mean to her.
The child was in severe pain with swollen feet, discolored spots on her arms and legs, and she appeared to weigh much less than the average 9-year-old, the affidavit states.
The girl was also described as very dirty with stained, torn clothing and unwashed hair. She smelled of urine and feces and was wearing a diaper, the affidavit states. Court records say she also had an infected laceration around her right ankle and the leg appeared red and hot to the touch.
"She stated that a pair of handcuffs caused the injury because she was handcuffed by her leg inside a 'Pack N' Play' at night so she would not get up in the middle of the night," the deputy said.
The child told the deputy she was only fed once or twice a day and would go into the kitchen at night to eat "moldy food or paper out of the trash and sometimes food for the animals because she was hungry."
She also told authorities her parents wouldn't let her use the toilet in the bathroom but gave her one or two diapers a day. Her parents and sister hit her with hands, a belt and a livestock sorting stick and made her work outside during all weather conditions, the affidavit states.
A pediatrician at St. Francis Children's Hospital said the girl had extensive bruising, lacerations consistent with being restrained by handcuffs and was malnourished.
Law officers interviewed the Smiths and said they saw the handcuffs where the girl told them they were kept. The parents reportedly said they had taken the child from school in 2017 and taught her using "Leap Frog" on a tablet. The older daughter was enrolled in school and in ROTC
Joel Richard Smith, Amanda Irene Smith and Allison Elizabeth Ann Smith are all charged with felony child neglect and child abuse.