Adopted Iowa teen who starved to death found wearing diaper on linoleum floor, records reveal

Photo of Natalie Finn (Courtesy: Facebook)

DES MOINES (WFLA) —New court documents reveal the deplorable conditions inside an Iowa home where a 16-year-old girl starved to death.

Natalie Finn was found emaciated, wearing an adult diaper and lying on the linoleum floor of her empty bedroom, when she was discovered in October.

Her bedroom smelled of human and animal waste, with blankets “heavily soaked” in what authorities believe to be urine, according to an affidavit written by West Des Moines Police Detective Chris Morgan.

The room was completely empty—it did not have a bed or bedroom furniture.

Mugshots of the adoptive parents, Nicole and Joseph Finn. (Courtesy: Polk County Jail)

“Many animals roamed freely, including well over a dozen kittens and cats,” Morgan wrote in the document obtained by the Des Moines Register. “There were numerous kennels with dogs scattered inside the residence.”

Her two adoptive siblings, ages 15 and 14 were also found severely underweight with bed sores.

The 16-year-old girl was rushed to the hospital and suffered cardiac arrest triggered by severe starvation.

Details of the teenagers’ living conditions became public on Tuesday when a judge’s order to keep search warrant documents under seal expired.

The children’s adoptive parents were both arrested following the tragic discovery.

The mother, Nicole Marie Finn, 42 faces charges for the death along with child endangerment charges for her treatment of the other two teenagers.

Her adoptive father, Joseph Michael Finn II, also faces child endangerment charges along with charges for neglect of dependent person and first-degree kidnapping.

Both are awaiting trial scheduled for October, the Des Moines Register reports. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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