Natalie Jasmine Finn, age 16, was imprisoned, tortured, and starved to death by her parents, Nicole Marie Finn and Joseph Michael Finn II. Natalie’s 15-year-old brother and 14-year-old sister were also starved, imprisoned, and tortured. An older brother, Alexander Kendal Finn (age 23), and another 15-year-old sibling were not reported to be abused. Natalie was homeschooled.
The Finns divorced in 2011 and were living separately but had joint custody of the children. At least one of the minor children was adopted and Natalie and her sister and brother were reported to have disabilities. Natalie attended an alternative school, Walnut Creek Campus, in the 2014-2015 school year, but was subsequently homeschooled. Natalie often wore the same clothes to school and asked other students for food or money. Once she told a friend she did not have shoes and her feet were blistered. In May 2016, the mother of one of Natalie’s school friends reported to child protective services that Natalie asked her for extra food for herself and her siblings; police went to the home but no one answered the door. Other neighbors reported that they rarely saw the children, and that Natalie had asked them for money, food, and clothes on multiple occasions. According to court documents, Natalie and her siblings were locked in the house and subjected to “unreasonable force, torture or cruelty”.
The abuse came to light when emergency services were dispatched to Natalie’s home after she had a heart attack from starvation. She later died at the hospital. Nicole Finn was charged with first-degree murder; both Finns were also charged with kidnapping, child endangerment, and neglect.
Date: October 24, 2016
Location: West Des Moines, Iowa