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Why grandmother was charged with criminal confinement after death of 5-year-old

Tammy Halsey, 53, of Indianapolis. Halsey was arrested in connection to the death of her 5-year-old granddaughter Kinsleigh Welty, who was found unresponsive at her home on Indy's southwest side on April 9, 2024. (Provided Photo/Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The grandmother of a 5-year-old — who died after Indianapolis police found the girl malnourished — told investigators that she’d once duct-taped the girl to her bed to keep her from getting up at night.

The grandmother, Tammy Halsey, 53, of Mooresville, also told investigators that she knew her daughter, Toni McClure, 29, of Indianapolis, had kept the girl, Kinsleigh Welty, in a closet for extended periods during February and March.

Kinsleigh Welty was pronounced dead shortly after 6 p.m. April 9 at Riley Hospital for Children, court documents show. Police had found the girl earlier that day.

Halsey was charged with criminal confinement.

McClure was charged with murder, criminal confinement, and battery on a person younger than 14.

McClure’s boyfriend, Ryan Smith, 27, was charged with three counts of neglect, and one count of criminal confinement. Court documents show Smith and McClure lived at the same address.

McClure had admitted to police that, for several months, she had been keeping Kinsleigh locked in a closet in her mobile home, court documents show. Doctors said the girl weighed more at 2½ years old than she did when she died.

The grandmother talked to an investigator about the girl being kept in the closet. The investigator outlined the conversation with Halsey in court documents.

“Tammy stated that by around mid-February of 2024, Toni mostly kept Kinsleigh in the closet except for when she left the house to go somewhere. Tammy stated that in mid-March of 2024, she had been at the house and observed that Kinsleigh was in the closet. Tammy explained it was around mid-afternoon, and she told Toni that it needed to stop. Tammy did not get Kinsleigh out of the closet at that time and knew that Toni was not going to let her out when she left the house. Tammy stated she knew Kinsleigh was in the closet most of the day by that time because Toni had told her that. Tammy recognized that it was wrong for Kinsleigh to be in the closet like that, but she did not do anything about it because she did not want Toni to lose custody of her other children. Tammy stated she should receive whatever punishment because she did not do anything to help Kinsleigh.”

Halsey also talked about duct-taping the girl to a bed. The investigator also wrote about that conversation in the court documents.

“Additionally, Tammy explained that she had watched Kinsleigh a lot during the Summer of 2023. Tammy stated she used duct tape to try and keep Kinsleigh from getting up at night. Tammy stated she used the duct tape twice on Kinsleigh in the same night. Tammy explained how she put the duct tape on Kinsleigh to keep her from getting out. Tammy stated she first put the duct tape over her legs and taped it to the bed covers. Tammy stated Kinsleigh was able to get out of it, so she put more duct tape over the top of her shoulders, upper legs, and lower legs. Tammy stated she taped it to the bed covers again. Tammy stated that after 20-30 minutes, Kinsleigh was moving out of it, so she just ripped up the duct tape and gave up. Tammy stated that occurred at the house in Plainfield, IN.”

The court documents also says the Indiana Department of Child Services had received a report from employees for Plainfield Community School Corp. They reported Halsey, a kitchen manager at an elementary school, had talked about restraining Kinsleigh with duct tape in bed so she would sleep.

The court documents also show McClure told police that her mother helped watch Kinsleigh at times and “shared some responsibility for what happened to Kinsleigh because she knew everything, but she never helped or did anything.”

Yet, at another point, McClure told investigators that Halsey had “brought it up to her that Kinsleigh did not look well and had lost weight,” and that Halsey and Smith had “told her that Kinsleigh needed help and that she would die if she did not fix how she treated Kinsleigh.”

McClure, Smith and Halsey have a jury trial scheduled for June 24 in Marion Superior Court 32, online court records showed Thursday.

Online jail records on Thursday showed McClure and Halsey was being held at the Marion County jail. The court ruled McClure could not be released on bond. Halsey’s bond was set at $20,000.

Smith was released from jail on Monday on a $50,000 surety bond.

Toni McClure and Ryan Smith (Provided Photos/Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department)

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