"They came, they looked, they left," said Lilly, now 19, reflecting on the parade of visitors from law enforcement, Child Protective Services and the schools, some of whom she had secretly called.
The records reveal:
• Sacramento County CPS fielded seven emergency referrals regarding the family between 2002 and 2006. The agency determined all the allegations to be "unfounded" or "inconclusive" – until Lilly's escape, when doctors detailed the head-to-toe physical scars and injuries.
• A Sacramento police officer observed scars on Lilly as far back as 2003, when she was 11, but CPS did not follow up on the officer's referral. The county Sheriff's Department responded to two 911 calls alleging abuse but – met with denials and discrepancies – closed the cases.
• A teacher at Hiram Johnson High School, noting scratches on Lilly's face and arms, referred her to the school nurse in November 2006. The nurse and another school worker scheduled a home visit and were told by Manning-Horvath that her daughter, then 14, was scratched by the dog. Describing the home as "immaculate," the school's visitors did not file a formal report.
• A CPS worker didn't believe the allegation of a "locked closet" because all the home's closets had sliding double doors except one, which had no lock. Detectives would later find that Lilly's dungeon was secured with a pole under the doorknob or a brace across the door.
The one agency that responded effectively to the distress signals was Diogenes Youth Services, a 24-hour crisis center for homeless and runaway teens. After Lilly's escape on Oct. 31, 2007, she said, she hid in a backyard shed but called CPS from a nearby pay phone five days later.
Lilly said a CPS worker told her "there's nothing we can do" and gave her the Diogenes number. A volunteer at Diogenes picked her up near Fruitridge Road and Stockton Boulevard and took the girl to a safe house.
The secrets came tumbling out.
"We did exactly what we were supposed to do, which pleased me to the highest," said Diogenes executive director Mike Martin.
"We've handled a lot of difficult situations, but by far, this girl was in the worst shape we've ever seen."
Salt Lake City
May 23, 2011
Kudos to the unnamed boyfriend of, Felicia Rae McClure,, who after finding texts making arrangements to sell her thirteen year old daughter's virginity to a man, reported McClure to the police. McClure is now now in custody under various charges.