Father, girlfriend charged in 3-year-old Kansas girl's death

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have charged the father of a 3-year-old Kansas girl who was found dead and his girlfriend with felony murder in the child’s death, prosecutors said Sunday.

Howard Jansen III, 29, and his girlfriend, Jacqulyn Kirkpatrick, 33, were also charged with aggravated endangerment of a child and criminal desecration in the death of Olivia Ann Jansen, Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree announced Sunday in a press briefing.

“This is a loss for our community,” Dupree said. “I implore everyone in this community to stand with this family as they go through one of the most tumultuous times, a moment that nobody in life should ever have to go through.”

Olivia's body was found around 5:45 p.m. Friday nearly nine blocks from her Kansas City home, from which her father had reported her missing. Charging documents say the three-year-old was killed Thursday, but authorities haven't released how she died.

Jansen initially told investigators that he saw Olivia around 11 p.m. Thursday when he went to sleep, Officer Dustin Dierenfeldt said. Jansen said he awoke Friday morning to find her gone and a door opened to the outside.

Scores of people, including Olivia's grandparents, gathered Sunday outside the courthouse to demand justice for Olivia, the Kansas City Star reported.

“I want them to pay for what they did to her,” Elisabeth Jansen, Olivia’s grandmother, said referring to the allegations against the couple.

Jansen and Kirkpatrick are being held at the county jail on $500,000 bonds, according to Dupree.