After Bernie and Diane Lierow’s four sons grew up and left the house, they felt as if something was missing. While they still had one son living at home, they longed for the ongoing activity that is part of having a full house and they felt the need to fill a void.
While attending an adoption event, Diane felt drawn to a black and white photo of a seven year old girl named Danielle, who hadn’t been able to attend the event along with the one hundred other children in attendance.
Having always wanted a daughter, the couple inquired about the girl and soon they learned that she had suffered a severely abusive childhood prior to being discovered by police. Living in squalor, Danielle had been found in a Florida home and had allegedly never left the house, was unable to talk and wasn’t able to eat solid food.
“I’ve been in law enforcement for 27 years now, and this is by far, bar none, the worst case of child neglect I’ve ever come across in my career,” said Detective Mark Holste, who had found Danielle in the filthy home.
“Everywhere you stepped there were cockroaches and animal feces from the cats and dogs.” Danielle had been found in a closet-sized room at the back of the house. She was seven years old at the time and weighed only 46 pounds.
Immediately following the child’s rescue, the girl’s biological mother lost her parental lights and Danielle was sent to urgent care.