Tavares girl starved by parents recovering, released to foster family

11-year-old girl found weighing 40 pounds has gained weight, officials say

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TAVARES, Fla. - The severely malnourished 11-year-old Tavares girl who was removed from her parents' home last week is recovering and has been released from the hospital to a foster family, according to the Department of Children and Families.

When the child was found she weighed only 40 pounds and has now gained weight. She is now in the care of a foster family and hopes to go shopping with her foster mother for school clothes and make her first visit to a theme park.

DCF said on Wednesday they have received several offers to themes, a dolphin swim at Discovery Cove and lots of gift cards so the girl can pick out new clothes. They urge anyone else who would like to make a donation for the child to do it in her name but allow another child in foster care to receive it.

45-year-old Jacqueline Bailey and her husband, 46-year-old John Bailey, were arrested earlier this month after police say they starved the 11-year-old and kept the refrigerator and pantry door locked so she wouldn't be able to get food.

According to officials, the girl's father claimed she had a genetic disorder that made his daughter want to eat, even when she wasn't hungry.  A physician, however, said that wasn't the case.

Police said the Baileys also made the girl stand in a bucket of bleach, causing chemical burns. They also monitored her every move with a door chime outside of her bedroom that would alert them whenever she left and forced her to do jumping jacks or run the stairs if she fell asleep too early.

The Bailey have since bonded out of jail on child abuse charges.

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