Jacqulyn Kirkpatrick, the partner of Olivia Jansen’s father Howard Jansen III, is now in custody in the death of the 3-year-old Kansas City, Kansas, child, who has been found deceased just blocks from her house.
The toddler was the subject of an Amber Alert.
Police found a body they believe to be that of Olivia in the early evening of July 10. Later that evening, they booked her father on suspicions of first-degree murder and child abuse, although charges have not been filed. Jacqulyn Kirkpatrick was also booked on suspicion of first-degree murder and abuse of a child, according to jail records in Wynadotte County. Kirkpatrick is not Olivia’s biological mother; Olivia’s mother is a different woman who is incarcerated; Howard Jansen referred to Kirkpatrick as his wife on social media and used the last name Jansen for her, but some news reports say she is his girlfriend and others describe her as Olivia’s stepmother.
Both Howard Jansen and Kirkpatrick are now facing charges of first-degree murder, aggravated endangering a child and criminal desecration.
“There’s no way to explain the death of a 3-year-old child,” a police spokesman, Thomas Tomasic, said. “We wanted to find her alive and safe. It’s terrible. It breaks all of our hearts.” The specific details of how Olivia died are not yet clear.
Police were called to the child’s home five times in 2020 to look into accusations of juvenile abuse and to do a welfare check, but it’s not clear whether the calls involved Olivia.
Olivia’s grandfather, Howard Jansen II, told ABC 9 he “asked for help through the Department of Children and Families” before Olivia died.
“Torture, torture, they kept her from us … we called DCF … we knew it was bad but we didn’t know what we are learning now,” Jansen said, according to ABC 9. Olivia didn’t want to go home the last time her grandparents say her, KSHB-TV reported.
“Because they wouldn’t do anything other than knock on the door. And so I was on the phone with them June 22 for 23 minutes telling them everything I could think of,” Elisabeth Jansen, Olivia’s step-grandmother, told 41 Action News. People have organized protests over the little girl’s death.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Child’s Body Was Found, Possibly Buried a Few Blocks From Her House, After the Amber Alert Was Issued
Police described the search for the little girl and then the horrific discovery of her body.
The Kansas city police spokesman said in a news conference that “we have been searching for this little girl all day morning, all day long… unfortunately we did locate a body. We’re pretty sure this is the girl we’re looking for. We focus now to the criminal side of things to make sure we prosecute whoever did this to this little girl.”
Tips led police to the location. “It’s horrible. Obviously no one wants this to be the end. Obviously with a 3 year old or any missing child you want to find them safe. This is definitely the worst way this could have ended,” he said.
Asked whether there were signs of trauma, Tomasic said police had not gotten that far. “The body is probably buried.” He said he didn’t believe the body was “just lying there. It will be up to the coroner to tell us what happened.” The girl was found by a walking trail that goes into the woods, police said, adding that it wasn’t clear where she was killed.
He said he could not speak about any suspects at this time. The spokesman said he didn’t know how long she was buried, if that was the case. He said the FBI was helping police with the crime scene. He called children “completely innocent.”
2. Howard Jansen Told Police He Woke Up to Find Olivia Gone & the Door Open
It was the child’s father who told police he noticed she had disappeared.
According to KSHB-TV, Howard Jansen contacted police around 8:30 a.m., “saying when he woke up two hours earlier the back door was open and Olivia was gone.”
He did not immediately call 911. The girl’s body was found about nine blocks from her home.
According to Tomasic, police were given “several stories throughout the day” and “none of them made sense.” An Amber Alert that was issued said “Due to her age and a search of the area, investigators believe that she was taken from the location.” The Amber Alert had described the child as “3-feet tall, 50 pounds with brown hair and blue-green eyes, wearing pajamas and with her hair fashioned into a pony tail.
3. Howard Jansen & Jackie Kirkpatrick Filled Their Facebook Pages With Excessive Romantic Comments About Each Other
Both the father and Kirkpatrick had active Facebook pages they filled with over-the-top, gushing declarations of love for each other. Howard also occasionally posted about the child.
The father’s Facebook page says, “#Taken 💙1/22/2020💙 💍Soon To Be Married To The LOML 💍💙#MrsAndMrJansen ❤️ 💙Proud Daddy💙.” The page says Howard Jansen lives in and is from Kansas City, Kansas and is married to “Jackie Mamas Jansen.” He previously gave her name as “Jackie Mamas Kirkpatrick.”
The page is full of pictures of the couple. One photo showed them both giving the middle finger to the camera and included the text, “To ALL our haters. F*ck off.” He also indicated that he had a stepdaughter. He wrote about Olivia on Facebook, sharing photos of her. “My beautiful wifey and OUR LiviBaby! Two very important ppl in my life and I love them both sooo very much,” he wrote with one collage of photos.
Mostly, though, his page is filled with excessive romantic gushing about his love for Jackie.
Jackie responded to one photo he posted of the couple, writing, “#TrueLove 💖💙💖💙 #Love I love you so very much babe 💞 #2Hearts1Love #July4th2020 #MrsAndMrJansen 💖💙💖💙” In another post, Howard gushed, “Words can’t express the love I have for this women! She’s been the glue that holds me together and no matter what she’s always had my back and been there to pick me up when I fall! For that I can never repay you my love but I can be here for you everyday for the rest of our lives and I’ll always be here for you in your best of times and especially I’ll always be here in your worst times because that’s when you’ll need me the most! I love you so so so very much my sexy Momma.”
4. Kirkpatrick Has Three Other Children; Her Previous Partner Was Shot to Death
Jackie is the mother to three older children. Jackie’s Facebook page says she is the “Proud Mama To 3 Beautiful Babies!❤❤❤.” She went to Turner High School and is from Kansas City.
Facebook posts indicate that the father of at least one of Jacqulyn’s other children is deceased. “Thank you mamas you are the best mom that I could ever have even tho dads gone I still have you we all go threw tuff times but you helped my go threw the most I love you with all my heart and I never want to lose you 😭❤️❤️” her daughter wrote in one old post. Some of her children have since posted tribute photos to Olivia.
Jackie wrote on a tribute photo to her deceased partner, “Tomorrow marks 10 years of you being gone. Each day still feels the same from the moment I found out that I would never get to see you or talk to you ever again. Some say with time things get easier, but losing the one you love more than anything, the father of my babies is the absolute hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through.” His name was Johnny Lee Baer, and he was shot and killed in 2009. Prosecutors declined to file charges saying the shooter, Adrian Burks, shot Baer in self-defense, but Burks was later convicted of an unrelated quadruple homicide. One of Jackie’s children has a different father, according to social media posts.
She also wrote about tattoos, saying, “Newest addition to my many tats!!! Covered them clovers, finished my dagger & put the KC on my other arm in memory of my homie #CHAINSAW.”
In 2019, Jacqulyn wrote in a post to her son, “I know we don’t always see eye to eye on things, but trust me no matter what the situation is, my love for you will never change!! A mother’s love is unconditional! I know that I’m far from perfect, but I do ALL that I can to be the best Mama I can be to you, your brother & sister!! I want you to know that I am proud of you & I also couldn’t be more proud to be your Mama!!”
5. Howard Called Jacqulyn a ‘Great Mom to Olivia’
One post on Howard’s Facebook page references Olivia.
“This picture is the definition of true love and words can’t describe the amount of love I have for this women (sic) and she’s beautiful smart such a great mom to not only her kids but to Olivia and everything she’s done for me mentally I owe her the world!! I LOVE YOU SOO SOO VERY MUCH SWEETHEART your my everything my whole world my whole heart!!” he wrote.
In one post on Facebook, Howard wrote, “First day at work today was coo asf!! Never worked in the tree service￼ Business but overall all it was a sum what busy day I think lol I get to work with my son…even tho we was on different sites but we both had good day tho gettin sh*t done lol!! Thank you again to my amazing sexyyyy gorgeous wifey!”