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Parents charged starving daughter had taken out insurance

Natalie Finn, 16, starved to death in a dirty diaper on the squalid floor of her adoptive parents’ home in October 

The adoptive parents of a 16-year-old girl who died from starvation and years of abuse are alleged to have taken out two life insurance policies before she died last October. 

Natalie Finn’s parents, from West Des Moines, Iowa, took out a Hartford Life Insurance policy that carried a $10,000 benefit while her adoptive mother bought a policy in 2009 that carried a $25,000 benefit.  

Court records show that Natalie’s adoptive father, Joseph M. Finn II, called about the second policy the day after Natalie died in October 2016 and his wife was then sent information on how to file a claim.

Both Joseph and Nicole Finn have been charged in Natalie’s death.

Nicole Finn, 42, will face trial next month on multiple felony charges, including first-degree murder, for allegedly abusing Natalie and two teenage siblings who also were adopted. Joseph Finn has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, neglect, abandonment and child endangerment.

According to Joseph Finn has agreed to relinquish any right to the $10,000 he stood to receive from the policy, while a judge will decide who should receive the $25,000 benefit since Natalie’s death was a homicide. 

Both of her parents will likely be disqualified as beneficiaries.

Finn bought the policy after Natalie’s adoption from foster care but before her 2011 divorce from Joe court records show.

Nicole Finn, 42, is charged with the teenager’s murder. Her ex- husband Joseph faces child endangerment and kidnapping charges. They are believed to have  taken out life insurance policies worth $35,000

Nicole Finn has pleaded not guilty, and her lawyers have said she will use a defense of diminished mental capacity.

Joseph Finn’s trial has been postponed until January 8. In his defense he will be saying that he didn’t live in Nicole Finn’s home after the two divorced in 2011 and ‘wasn’t around the kids that often.’

A number of people, including school officials and neighbors said they believed Natalie was being abused before she was pulled out of public school last year.

She died in her own waste and was found wearing an adult diaper and lying on the linoleum floor of her bedroom when police and medics discovered her.

 Natalie had been lying in her own waste for ‘some time’ when emergency services found her 

There was no furniture in their bedroom or in the bedrooms of her other adopted siblings and the house was overrun by cats and kittens whose feces were scattered everywhere. 

‘Many animals roamed freely, including well over a dozen kittens and cats,’ one said in an arrest affidavit that was obtained by The Des Moines Register. 

A medical examination found that the teen died of emaciation because of the denial of critical care.

Natalie was taken to hospital but died of cardiac arrest brought on by severe starvation.  

Both of the girl’s adoptive parents (above in court in December) are awaiting trial. They have both pleaded not guilty to the charges 

Blankets which were ‘heavily soaked’ in what was believed to be urine covered the floor of the room Natalie shared with two of her siblings.   

‘There were numerous kennels with dogs scattered inside the residence.’  

Police say the woman kept the children inside the home against their will to be tortured and starved.

Authorities visited the home in August 2016, two months before Natalie's death, but said she was starving herself

Authorities visited the home in August 2016, two months before Natalie’s death, but said she was starving herself

She nailed boards to the windows of the house to stop them from escaping when she learned they had been panhandling for food at a nearby grocery store, according to authorities. 

They adopted the children together but later separated, and Joseph lived in a different home where they would visit him. 

He told police after Natalie’s death that they enjoyed being in his house more because they were given more to eat.

Child protective services and police visited Nicole’s house at least once before Natalie’s death but nothing was done to remove the children. 

A health worker who investigated the case was fired after the teenager’s death. 

They were called in to look in to the family after receiving reports from Natalie’s school, Walnut Creek Campus, that she would come to class dirty and hungry. 

The teenager had repeatedly asked neighbors for food and clothing in the months before her death in her West Des Moines house, pictured here

Despite their concern and claims from neighbors that she used to ask them for food and clothes, she was allowed to carry on living in the home.                  

Last August, police and child protective services visited the house and even noted that Natalie was wasting away but said in a report she was starving herself.

They said there was ‘ample’ food in the home. 

The fired health worker told colleagues she believed there may have been cause for concern but nothing was done. 

She said the other children told her they were scared of their adoptive mother but that there was not enough evidence to remove them from her care. 

‘What happened to not only Natalie but her siblings was preventable,’ Senator Matt McCoy said on Wednesday once the documents were unsealed.

‘It’s a horrific situation and I feel heartbroken for Natalie and her siblings who were, in essence, sealed in that room and left to die.’


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