A 9-year-old girl was beaten, starved, and imprisoned by her uncle, Joel Smith (pictured left), Joel’s wife Amanda Smith (pictured center), and their 19-year-old daughter Allison Smith (pictured right). The girl was homeschooled.
It is unclear how the girl came to live with the Smiths, but she thought of them as her parents and sister. The girl was pulled from school in 2017 and the family “claimed to have the girl in a homeschool program, but no one could name the specific program.” The girl reported she was educated by a LeapPad learning tablet. The girl endured extreme abuse, including: being forced to stay outside in all weather; forced to do extreme manual labor such as moving rocks and digging holes; beaten with numerous objects including a livestock sorting stick, including a beating for making a mistake in her schoolwork; forced to take freezing and scalding showers; choked and threatened with death; forced to wear diapers and not allowed to use the toilet; starved so that she ate paper and moldy food out of the trash because she was hungry; and kept handcuffed inside a playpen at night. When she was rescued, she had an infected and untreated laceration from the handcuffs, was covered with bruises, and was severely underweight.
The abuse came to light when the girl ran away from home and was reported missing by the Smiths in early April 2019. When authorities found her she disclosed the abuse. The Smiths, who were later arrested in Missouri, were charged with child abuse and neglect.
Date: April 5, 2019
Location: Salina, Oklahoma