Senator McCoy Wants Legislative Oversight Committee to Investigate DHS Following Child Abuse Cases

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  A state senator requesting a hearing by the Legislative Oversight Committee over two child abuse cases is receiving push back from the chair of the committee.

One of the abuse cases involved 16-year-old Natalie Finn who died of a heart attack in October.

Prosecutors say her parents held her captive, tortured her, and starved her in their West Des Moines home.

Malayia Knapp, the victim of another case, says she was abused in her Urbandale home by her adoptive mother for years before finally managing to escape.

Both girls were homeschooled.

Now, Senator Matt McCoy is calling for more oversight of homeschooled children. He wants state regulators to check in on these students quarterly, and also wants the Legislative Oversight Committee to investigate the Department of Human Services.

However, the Oversight chair says it is too soon to call a hearing on the matter.

In a letter to McCoy, Michael Breitbart said, "I believe based on the charges that it will be hard to hear testimony from the Department of Human Services until the case has been decided. Iowa Department of Human Services needs to review their policies and procedures and present changes in how protective workers and mandatory reporters take the proper reforms to prevent these tragedies from happening in the future."

McCoy fired back, saying, "Unfortunately I do not believe doing nothing, is an adequate response for the seriousness of the policy and procedure gaps that allowed an Iowa teen to be starved to death."

He continued, saying, "As legislators, as members of the Senate Oversight Committee, and as parents, we need to do our jobs and investigate, legislate, and provide oversight."

McCoy again asked for the committee to convene and look into the matter. If that does not happen, he says he will conduct his own investigation.