KANSAS CITY, Kan. (WDAF) – A Wyandotte County father and his girlfriend are charged in the death of his 3-year-old daughter, Olivia Jansen.
Howard Jansen III and Jacqulyn Kirkpatrick are charged with first-degree murder, endangering a child and desecration of a corpse.
If found guilty, the pair could face life in prison with a chance or parole after 25 years.
On Friday, Kansas City, Kansas police found Olivia’s body buried in a wooded area near 34th and Steele Road. That’s not far from where Jansen first reported her missing earlier in the morning.
A group of people wanting justice for Olivia waited outside the county courthouse as the charges were filed.
The crowd cheered when District Attorney Mark Dupree made the announcement, but then chanted for more punishment.
“This is a loss for our community,” Dupree said.
During the Sunday’s news conference, Dupree encouraged people to speak up if they see child abuse.
“Regardless if you’re a mandatory reporter,” Dupree said. “I ask you to make the call, to try and help some child so we won’t have to come to this place again in such a horrible situation.”
Olivia’s paternal grandparents said they tried to get help by contacting police and church organizations. All roads led to the Kansas Department of Children and Families. They said after getting one email back from the DCF about assigning an investigator to the case, there was silence.
Dupree’s responded to the family by saying, “You can do everything right and still something so bad and so wrong happens, and I don’t know the answer to that.”
Howard Jansen II and his wife Elisabeth are calling for capital punishment for their son and his girlfriend.
“They broke her spirit. I mean, ‘desecration of a corpse?’ What kind of sick person does that,” Jansen said about his son. “Change my name, I wish I could change his.”
Dupree said his office going to do everything it can now to get Olivia and her family justice.
“I’m glad but it’s late, you should have done it before,” Elisabeth said. “Before they’re dead, before the torture.
Howard Jansen III and Kirkpatrick remain in the Wyandotte Co. Jail. Their bond is set at $500,000.
KCK Police, the FBI and the KBI were all part of the investigation, which is still ongoing.
If you have any information on this case the top prosecutor asks you to call police, noting any piece of information helps.