Protesters gather outside DCF office, demanding release of records in 3-year-old’s death

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (WDAF) — More than a week after the Kansas Department for Children and Families promised to detail its involvement with 3-year-old Olivia Jansen before her death, those documents remain sealed.

Court records WDAF has obtained independently show the girl was found in a shallow grave in Kansas City, Kansas, on July 10, covered in bruises from head to toe. An autopsy says she died of a brain bleed.​

Olivia’s father, Howard Jansen III, and his girlfriend, Jacqulyn Kirkpatrick, are charged with first-degree murder, aggravated endangering a child and criminal desecration of a body.

DCF said it can’t release its own records until they can determine the death was the result of abuse or neglect. 

On Wednesday, people protested outside the agency’s KCK office, upset that a law passed in 2018 to make cases like this public record is already facing resistance.

“What do we want? Justice,” they said as they marched from the Kansas Department for Children and Families to the Wyandotte County Courthouse.

“She was a 3-year-old little girl, never met her, but it sucks because that’s DCF’s job. That’s what we pay them to do,” Zachary Mayers said.

The child’s grandparents and others said they called DCF to report possible abuse numerous times before her death. Exactly what DCF did to follow up is still unclear.

WDAF requested records about the agency’s investigations shortly after Olivia’s death. But on Monday, the same day WDAF obtained the court affidavit detailing the girl’s injuries and cause of the death, the agency said it won’t release documents about its handling of calls about Olivia until it determines if she died because of abuse or neglect.

“It’s obvious there was abuse,” said Nicole Agard, who organized the protest.

DCF said it also has a copy of the affidavit. The agency sent a statement, saying in part:

“DCF is reviewing the redacted documents and will use to progress toward completion of the DCF investigation and render a finding in the very near future.”

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