911 Call Leads to Discovery of Girl, 14, in 'Emaciated, Skeletal State,' and Mom Is Arrested

Before she was found dead inside her family home, Kyneddi Miller, 14, had only stepped outside two times in four years, authorities allege

<p>Courtesy of Boone County</p> Kyneddi Miller, circa 2019.

Courtesy of Boone County

Kyneddi Miller, circa 2019.

The 14-year-old girl had not been to school in years.

And she had only stepped outside the family’s Morrisvale, W.Va., home “a possible 2 times in 4 years,” per a criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE.

Boone County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched there for “a death call,” Wednesday morning April 17, per the complaint. Someone in the home dialed 911 after the girl suffered cardiac arrest, per a statement from the sheriff’s office.

At the home, per the complaint, deputies found the girl “emaciated to a skeletal state” on the bathroom floor. In the complaint, investigators described the teenager’s appearance as “shocking,” prompting an investigation into her death.

Identified by her initials “K.M.” in the criminal complaint, Sheriff Chad Barker confirms to PEOPLE that the 14-year-old has been identified as Kyneddi Miller.

<p>Boone County Sheriff's Department</p> Julie Anne Stone Miller

Boone County Sheriff's Department

Julie Anne Stone Miller

The girl’s mother, Julie Anne Stone Miller, 49, is charged with felony child neglect resulting in death.

The sheriff’s office says additional charges may be filed.

"The details in this case are very disturbing and hard to fathom," Barker tells PEOPLE, adding: "This investigation is still considered very active and we are continuing to follow up with witnesses as well as gathering facts."

Investigators allege that Miller failed to obtain treatment for the girl for at least four years, based on “the overwhelming visible condition” of her body “and the clear and distinct physical problems” that she endured. “It’s believed this neglect caused the death of KM,” states the complaint.

Miller — who was arraigned Thursday, April 18 and has not yet entered a plea to the charges, according to the magistrate clerk’s office — faces between three and 15 years behind bars and/ or a fine of between $1,000 and $5,000 if convicted of the charge, per the criminal complaint.

Kyneddi “had not been able to function on her own in a reported 4-5 days due to her physical state,” per the criminal complaint.

The medical examiner’s report is still pending.

The teenager had “an eating disorder for several years,” per the complaint, which notes that she “has not been eating for months,” with her health “deteriorating for months or years.”

At a press conference streamed by WSAZ and shared by the sheriff's office last week, Barker said that the alleged eating disorder, mentioned by witnesses, had not been diagnosed or medically documented.

The sheriff, who had responded to the scene in person, called the teenager’s case “pretty rough,” with her extreme physical emaciation emotionally impacting the first responders.

No other children were living at the brick home, where the mother and daughter lived with two grandparents, according to Barker.

The sheriff said his office is looking into any Child Protective Services record as well as any earlier 911 calls connected to the residence.

He said investigators were interviewing neighbors to learn more about what had been going on behind closed doors at the home in the past four years.

<p>Boone County Sheriff's Department</p> Boone County Sheriff Chad Barker

Boone County Sheriff's Department

Boone County Sheriff Chad Barker

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Kyneddi’s deterioration went unchecked in great part due to her longtime absence from school, which, per the criminal complaint, she had not attended since late 2019 or early 2020.

“We feel that she was being home schooled,” Barker said at the press conference, confirming that Kyneddi had once been enrolled at the local public school.

As part of the ongoing investigation, he said they were looking at any state laws and policy involving truancy and homeschooling. “That is part of our fact-finding mission: to figure that out.”

Barker said he was unaware of the mother having a criminal history. An online records search of her name in the magistrate court conducted by PEOPLE, revealed only one case from 2017, in which she was “delinquent in paying court-imposed assessments” for shoplifting.

Miller’s preliminary hearing is slated for Monday, April 29 at 9 a.m., according to the magistrate clerk’s office. At that hearing, Miller may enter a plea.

Miller has requested a court appointed attorney, who has not yet been officially assigned to her, per the clerk’s office.

Boone County has three grand jury sessions a year, Josara Bishop of the clerk’s office tells PEOPLE. The next one is slated for September, so Miller will not be officially indicted until then, unless a special grand jury meeting is specially scheduled, according to Bishop.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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