A joint newspaper investigation shows the Missouri Department of Social Services’ practice of releasing information after the deaths or near deaths of children has come to a sudden and unexplained end.

After high-profile tragedies a decade ago, the Missouri state system charged with protecting children began releasing records previously closed to the public.

But the Springfield News-Leader and The Kansas City Star report the openness ended in June after a 10-year-old girl was freed from a Kansas City closet weighing 32 pounds.

Department officials refuse to talk about the case, but court records show the 10-year-old girl was hospitalized as a 4-year-old because she was so underweight.

Soon after the mother regained custody, the girl dropped out of sight.

Missouri D-S-S has never explained why it suddenly shut off its public information.

– Bob Hamilton, KMOX News


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