Florida mom allegedly refused to let daughter, 9, leave home since 2017 as child had to ‘beg to eat’

Kelli McGriff-Williams, 42, pleaded not guilty to neglect charges on Thursday. The father of the girl told police he had been trying to gain custody since 2017

Andrea Cavallier
Saturday 09 September 2023 19:12 BST
<p>Kelli McGriff-Williams</p>

Kelli McGriff-Williams

A nine-year-old girl who was allegedly kept captive in her own Florida home since 2017 had to “beg to eat,” according to Miami-Dade Police Department investigators who arrested the child’s mother this week.

Kelli McGriff-Williams, 42, appeared before a judge on Thursday and pleaded not guilty to a felony child neglect charge.

McGriff-Williams is accused of refusing to let her daughter leave their Miami house from 2017 to 2023 and confining her "the majority of the time to a bedroom," according to the arrest report.

“The victim would have to beg to eat, and the defendant would not always provide food to the victim,” police wrote in the report.

Officers responded to the home on 26 August following a Florida Department of Children and Families investigation into the allegations.

McGriff-Williams, who confirmed the allegations, was then involuntarily admitted under the Baker Act criteria at Jackson South Hospital due to her “altered mental state,” according to the arrest report.

“The victim is unable to read and write,” police wrote in the report. “The defendant has never taken the victim to a doctor even when she has been very ill.”

The child’s father, who was not named, told police he had been trying to gain custody since 2017. He also confirmed the allegations of neglect.

McGriff-Williams was discharged from the hospital and immediately taken into custody on 1 September.

She is being held on a $5,000 bond.

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