Facebook Messages Reveal Years of Torture that Led to Death of 5-Year-Old Girl: Prosecutors

Kinsleigh Welty died in a hospital weighing just 21 lbs.

<p> GoFundMe</p> Kinsleigh Welty


Kinsleigh Welty

In April, a 5-year-old Indianapolis girl died after she was found "severely malnourished." The girl’s mother and her boyfriend were subsequently arrested and charged in connection with her death.

Now, the girl’s grandmother is also facing charges, with police alleging she knew that the 5-year-old was confined to a locked closet.

Kinsleigh Welty appeared malnourished and had a bruise on her face when police responded to her family’s home on April 9, according to charging documents reviewed by PEOPLE. When Kinsleigh was taken to the hospital, it was observed that Kinsleigh was thin and had fecal matter on parts of her body and matted in her hair, according to the document.

Authorities say the girl weighed 21 lbs. at the time of her death at age 5, which was less than she weighed when she was 2. Kinsleigh died in the hospital.

Related: Mom Is Accused of Murdering Daughter, 5, Who Was Allegedly Locked in Closet and Covered in Waste

Kinsleigh’s mother, Toni McClure, was charged with murder, while her grandmother, Tammy Halsey, is facing charges of neglect resulting in death, among others, according to court records. Ryan Smith, McClure’s boyfriend, is also charged with child neglect resulting in death.

The probable cause affidavit for Halsey’s case alleges that the abuse Kinsleigh suffered had been years in the making.

The affidavit includes what police claim are Facebook messages sent between Halsey and McClure dating back to 2022, in which they allegedly referred to Kinsleigh as “evil” and a “demon,” among other disparaging charaterizations.

<p>Marion County Jail</p> Tony McClure, left, Ryan Smith, center and Tammy Halsey

Marion County Jail

Tony McClure, left, Ryan Smith, center and Tammy Halsey

In the messages, Halsey and McClure allegedly make references to the locked closet where police say Kinsleigh was kept, and describe instances when the young girl had gotten out.

“Put something in front so she can’t push the door.,” Halsey allegedly told McClure after she was told Kinsleigh had left the closet in May 2022.

In another message exchange, dated nearly a year later, McClure allegedly told Halsey she spotted Kinsleigh sitting by a couch.

“Did you not wrap her a-- up?,” Halsey allegedly wrote.

“Yes I did,” McClure allegedly responded. “She got out.”

“Damn do it tighter,” wrote Halsey, the affidavit alleges.

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Subsequent messages alleged in the affidavit include references to taping and tying Kinsleigh up, and also messages referencing an incident where Kinsleigh urinated on the floor.

Authorities claim in the affidavit that the messages also note that the two women tried to conceal Kinsleigh’s appearance and hid her from child services.

It is not immediately clear if any of the three defendants have entered pleas to any of the charges filed against them. Attorneys for the three could not be reached for comment.

A GoFundMe started by Kinsleigh’s great aunt has raised nearly $7,000.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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