Toddler killed by dad who had her name inked on his face was kept in dog kennel
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A small toddler was kept in a dog kennel, bashed against a wall, and killed after a horrific campaign of abuse by her dad and his girlfriend.
Olivia Jansen, three, was reported missing by her father Howard Jansen III in July 2020 and police found her body after several hours – but years later her dad has pleaded guilty to the murder in court.
Jansen went to Kansas City Police Headquarters to report his missing daughter and it triggered a massive police search using drones and sniffer dogs.
The young girl’s body was found in a shallow grave in woods near the home around 5:30 p.m. – some nine hours after she was reported missing.
A medical examiner’s report later showed that the three-year-old’s body showed bruising and other signs of physical abuse, including a cut on the back of her head.
The pathologist concluded that Olivia had died of a bleed on the brain.
After witnesses reported seeing a man answering Jansen’s description “acting suspiciously” in the area overnight, the 29-year-old father was brought in for questioning.
According to a police report, Jansen – who has Olivia’s name tattooed on his face – offered an inconsistent explanation of how his daughter had gone missing which “did not make sense” to interrogators.
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Further investigation revealed a grim tale of abuse in the family home.
Other children living in the property told police that Jansen’s fiancée, Jacqulyn Kirkpatrick, who is not Olivia's mother, had kept the little girl locked in a dog kennel and forced her to stand in a corner for extended periods of time.
She had also bashed the toddler’s head against a wall, the children said.
Kirkpatrick, is currently serving a 31-year prison sentence for her part in Olivia's murder.
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Last year, her grandma Elizabeth – Jansen's mother – told KSHB that Olivia didn't want to live with her dad.
She said: "She was always so unhappy to go home. She would frown and say, “You love me? You’re not mad at me? I come back? I come back?” and I told her “I will hurt anybody who that keeps you away from me.”‘
Olivia’s grandparents had contacted Kansas City police and Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) to express their concerns about how the child was being treated.
A DCF worker spoke to Olivia over Zoom and was unable to identify any problems.
According to local news station 41 Action News, had been called to the home five times in 2020 and 21 times between January 2017 and July 2020.
Jansen is scheduled to be sentenced on March 25 in Wyandotte County Court.
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