KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) – On Sunday, the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office announced that both Howard J. Jansen III and Jacqulyn A. Kirkpatrick have been formally charged with murder in connection with the death of 3-year-old Olivia Jansen.
Both are facing charges of first-degree murder, aggravated endangerment of a child, and criminal desecration.
The desecration charge stems from “unlawfully and knowingly obtain[ing] unauthorized control of a dead body.”
Both have been in jail for awhile on suspicion of the same things, but that was on the basis of a 48-hour hold.
The timing of these charges is presumably an effort, in part, to beat that hold’s expiration time. For Jansen, that would have been later tonight.
Now, they are being held on a $500,000 bond, cash or surety.
Because the investigation is ongoing, District Attorney Mark Dupree cannot offer any more information regarding the case at this time. He asks anyone who may have information that could help in the investigation to come forward and provide tips to the police department.
Olivia Jansen was found dead on Friday evening in the area of 34th and Steele. That came after an Amber Alert was issued and the authorities spent all day looking for her.
Her father, Howard Jansen III, was the one who reported her missing. He'd told police he had awakened to find she was not at home, saying he saw her the night before. However, multiple stories that didn’t make sense were told to the police.
On Friday, when asked if it was fair to say that the story police were given in the morning was bogus, Officer T.J. Tomasic said, “Yes, very. We have had several stories throughout the day. None of them made very much sense.”
The community has been mourning for days since the 3-year-old’s body was discovered. A vigil and balloon release were held on Friday near where her body was found.
Olivia's biological mother is serving time in jail for charges unrelated to this case. Relatives told KCTV5 News she learned about her daughter's death while in prison. On Saturday, family arranged a video chat so she could see the large crowd that turned out at the memorial to honor Olivia's life.
Many desire justice in this case and are surely hoping today’s charges are the first step in accomplishing that.