KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) - Disturbing new details have emerged in the case of a three-year-old girl found buried in a shallow grave in Kansas City, Kansas, after an Amber Alert earlier this month.
KCTV5 News spoke with Olivia Jansen’s grandmother, who herself got a hold of the court documents just Monday. In those documents, a detective describes the shallow grave 300-yards down a trail near Woodland and Steele Roads.
The entrance to that trail is now surrounded by mementos left behind paying tribute to her.
It began as an Amber Alert. Olivia Jansen’s dad had reported she’d disappeared from the Kansas City, Kansas, home where they lived. Her mother was in jail for something unrelated. Olivia had been living with her dad and his girlfriend.
Before the day was over, police would find her body. That same day, grandmothers on both sides of the family suspected Olivia’s dad and girlfriend were to blame.
“He quit talking to me in February and told me I would never see my granddaughter again,” maternal grandmother Vicky Saindon said.
“I’ve called the cops. I’ve called DCF,” paternal step-grandmother Elisabeth Jansen said.
A court affidavit released Monday describes what police found that day on July 10.
“I observed broken sticks and branches on top of the shallow grave,” a detective wrote. “I could see light blue and pink clothing protruding from the dirt as well as a small portion of a Caucasian child’s face and hair. The victim was dressed in pajamas and her body had been placed in a fetal position. The victim had severe bruising all over her face.”
The documents went on to describe an autopsy showing she had bruising on her arms and legs as well, with a cut on her head and bleeding on the brain, which was determined to be the cause of death.
The next week, people rallied outside the office of the Department of Children and Families, or DCF, calling on the state to release a history of the abuse and neglect claims filed prior to Olivia’s murder.
"Mrs. Shanelle Dupree is the KC Regional Director, and because she is the wife of District Attorney Dupree, she has always been conflicted out of Wyandotte County child welfare cases, which includes this case as well. All Wyandotte County child welfare matters are handled by DCF Administration, not Mrs. Dupree. Any additional questions pertaining to the Department for Children and Families should be directed to that agency," the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office said in a written statement.
“The system failed that little girl,” protester Mindy Cartwright said.
KCTV5 News filed a request for the same info on July 13. Two weeks later, still nothing.
A DCF spokesman said the law allows them to release a summary of calls only after they determine a child’s death is due to abuse or neglect.
They said they were still awaiting police reports to make that determination. But now the court document we received, he says, will likely speed up the process.