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Indianapolis mother, boyfriend arrested after 5-year-old allegedly dies from malnourishment

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Apr 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-17 13:00:06-04

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis mother and her boyfriend have been arrested after a toddler died Tuesday due to neglect.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Southwest District officers were dispatched to the 6500 block of Denver Drive on reports of an unresponsive child at 5:12 p.m.

Upon arrival, officers located an unresponsive 5-year-old inside a residence.

The child, identified as Kinsleigh Welty, appeared to be malnourished, according to IMPD. She was transported to Riley Hospital where she died.

IMPD Child Abuse detectives began to investigate, and Child Services took custody of other children living in the home.

Police arrested Kinsleigh’s 29-year-old mother, Toni McClure, for Murder and Child Neglect Resulting in Death, as well as her 27-year-old boyfriend, Ryan Smith, for Child Neglect Resulting in Death.

The Marion County Prosecutors Office is seeking Life without parole for Mcclure.

According to court documents, Kynsleigh was found malnourished with fecal matter matted to her hair and to the bottom of her feet. She also had what appeared to be lice crawling on her face, according to court documents.

She was determined to be at a smaller weight at her time of death than she was at 2.5 years old.

Court records show McClure had a history of run-ins with the Department of Child Services.

Indianapolis City-County Councilor Joshua Bain wrote an open letter to the DCS Director Eric Miller saying the following:

"As a Councilor serving on the City County Council in Indianapolis, representing the location where this tragedy occurred, I am demanding a full and thorough investigation into this case by the Department of Child Services (DCS). It is crucial that we understand how this situation was able to occur and what systemic failures, if any, contributed to the loss of this innocent life. Our community deserves answers, accountability, and justice for the victim.

Furthermore, I am requesting detailed information regarding the steps DCS is taking to ensure that similar tragedies are prevents in the future. It is essential that DCS implements robust measures and protocols to identify and address cases of neglect and abuse in a timely and effective manner. Our children are our most vulnerable population, and we must do everything in our power to protect them from harm."
Indianapolis City County Councilor Joshua Bain

Read the full letter below:

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IMPD Chief Chris Bailey issued the following statement regarding the incident:

My heart breaks knowing what Kinsleigh went through in her short life and how she left this world.

The circumstances of Kinsleigh’s death are horrific and beyond comprehension. No human being, let alone a child should be treated like she was. These alleged suspects, if convicted, should never step foot outside of a prison.

I am so thankful for the officers, detectives, crime scene personnel, emergency room personnel, coroner’s office officials, and deputy prosecutors for their steadfast dedication to the innocent. What they see and hear every day most of us could not endure. They are truly special people.

I pray Kinsleigh has found internal peace and for her siblings who will need a lot of love and care in the coming days, months, and years.