Public editor

Word about LP’s current condition?

Updated: 2014-02-19T01:12:30Z

By Derek Donovan

The Kansas City Star

In the summer of 2002, authorities rescued a little girl known only as “LP” from horrific abuse she endured at the hands of her mother, Jacole Prince. Locked in a closet and emaciated, the 10-year-old weighed only 32 pounds when she was freed. Her two sisters, 2 and 8 at the time, did not appear to have suffered similar abuse.

Last week, Prince withdrew her previous guilty plea and her case has been back in court this week. But compassionate readers are interested in what’s happened to LP in the intervening months.

The Star disclosed last August that LP required a heart transplant because of severe medical complications after being rescued.

Today, she remains in the foster system. Because she is a minor — and one at so much personal risk for many reasons — the details of her situation are kept private by the Missouri Department of Social Services. The same goes for all minors in the foster system, by the way.

Of course I understand fully why so many readers want to know more about how she’s doing now. That’s only natural. But even though reporters often know more details off the record than would be released to the general public, this little girl’s privacy and safety must remain the highest priority.

To reach Derek Donovan, call 816-234-4487 weekday mornings or send email to Follow him at

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