Unspeakable Times

A Feral Child Lived In Filth For Seven Years - Until A Neighbor Saw Her In The Window

The mystery behind “the girl in the window” started in 2005 when police raided a home in Plant City, Florida, and found a barely 7-year-old girl hidden away in a dark room. Her mother, her mother's boyfriend, and her two adult brothers lived in the house but kept her secluded. The authorities found Danielle Crockett’s living conditions horrific and immediately contacted child abuse investigators. Excrement lined the walls, cockroaches scurried across the floors, and old, used diapers surrounded the girl.

Similar to other feral children who have experienced severe neglect and been denied any kind of social interaction, Dani suffered from a variety of psychological conditions that made recovery incredibly difficult. Even after years of treatment and care, doctors and specialists were unsure of what her prognosis might be in the future. 

Several journalists from the Tampa Bay Times played an integral part in bringing Dani's story to the public’s attention and continued to follow Dani’s recovery even a decade after her rescue. Dani’s birth mother, Michelle Crockett, gave up her parental rights in exchange for a lesser sentence, which allowed the Lierow family to legally adopt Dani in 2007.