Ombudsman's Investigation of Natalie Finn's Death Shows DHS Missed Red Flags


DES MOINES, Iowa  —  The Iowa Office of Ombudsman has released a lengthy review of the starving death of adopted teenager Natalie Finn while under supervision of the Iowa Department of Human Services..

Finn died at the West Des Moines home of her adoptive mother, Nicole Finn, in 2016.  An autopsy found she died of cardiac arrest caused by starvation.  She weighed just 81 pounds at the age of 16 when she died.

The report finds that DHS missed numerous red flags that showed Natalie was dangerously underweight.  That included reports from school officials that described Natalie as “starving”.  The state Ombudsman’s Office report found DHS employees missed those red flags because their social workers were undetrained and understaffed.

Nicole Finn was found guilty of First Degree Murder for Natalie’s death.  She is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.  Her ex-husband, Joseph Finn, is serving a 30 year sentence after his conviction on multiple counts of abuse.

You can read the full 160-page report here.



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