FENTRESS COUNTY GRAND JURY TO HEAR HORRIFIC CHILD ABUSE CASE INVOLVING MICHIGAN COUPLE

A preliminary hearing was held in a Fentress County courtroom yesterday for a Michigan couple charged with the malnourishment of their two children.

Authorities say 45-year-old Jason Klimp and 43-year-old Jessica Klimp are each charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse.

Court documents indicate officers responded to a home in February 2024 for an unresponsive child. The address of the home was blacked out on the document. Officers encountered the parents of the child, Jessica and Jason Klimp of Cadillac, Michigan.

Jason Klimp told law enforcement the female was walking back from outside when she collapsed. He placed the child in the shower attempting to warm the child up because he stated she felt like she was freezing.

Medics said the child appeared to be around 6 years old but were shocked to learn the girl was actually 12 years old.

The girl was taken to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital for treatment.

Doctors later informed investigators the girl was severely undernourished and under development for her age.

When officers asked Jason Klimp why the child was not eating properly, he reportedly stated she was given pureed food because she could not keep regular food down or she didn’t want to eat.

A DCS referral was made to the other seven children in the home. Officers say four are biological children of the couple, and four are adopted. Law enforcement told the couple to bring the rest of the children to the emergency room for evaluation.

Court documents state the sister of the victim was in the same malnourished state.

A Department of Children’s Service investigator spoke with each of the children. What two of the children told them was horrific.

They said they were made to sleep in plastic totes with no covers in the basement where the temperature averaged 60 degrees. The two children said they slept there as punishment for wetting a bed.

After the hearing concluded yesterday, the judge found probable cause and sent the case to a grand jury. They will meet soon to determine indictments against the couple.

The judge also increased the bond to $300,000 each for Jason and Jessica Klimp.

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