LEBANON, Tenn. - The St. Petersburg Times originally shared Dani's story in August 2008, in an article called "The Girl in the Window."
Detectives had discovered her in a Plant City home in July 2005, when she was almost 7. She was curled in a tiny, roach-infested room, covered with her own feces, unable to speak or make eye contact, afraid to be held. A child protection officer had raced her to Tampa General Hospital. Dani weighed 46 pounds.
Investigators determined she had been left alone, in that dark, filthy space, for most of her life. They called Dani a "feral child," like Tarzan or the wolf boy.
Police charged Dani's mother with child neglect. A judge terminated her parental rights, sentenced her to community service and two years of house arrest.
In 2007, Bernie and Diane Lierow, then of Fort Myers, saw Dani's photo in a gallery of Tampa Bay area children available for adoption. The Times story told of how the couple were drawn to her dark, vacant eyes.
Three Years Later: The Girl in the Window
Photo Gallery: Then and Now
Photo Gallery: Dani
Original Story and Comments on ISYN
A very special thank you to MissDee for contributing this Article.