Governor Tom Vilsack has asked state officials to review any records that might relate to the plight of a 10-year-old Winterset girl found living in appalling conditions. The girl’s father and his girlfriend are charged with child endangerment for locking the child in a room of their home, and investigators have said the room was bare without even a light, and its only window was covered. Vilsack says the Madison County Attorney has suggested state social workers had “advance notice” of the girl’s situation. “I wanted to find out exactly what we knew and when we knew it and what our reaction was,” Vilsack says. “From that we’ll determine whether there need to be additional steps taken to improve our program. I mean, this is our committment — to try to take care of children.” Vilsack says the state is not perfect and has a long way to go in its efforts to ensure the safety of children. Vilsack says he hasn’t yet reviewed the documents, but will be communicating with state Department of Human Services officials once he’s read the reports. Thirty-nine-year-old Jon Neely and his girlfriend, Kimberly Holtmyer, made a court appearance yesterday (Wednesday) after posting bail following their arrest on child endangerment charges.
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