According to court documents, the girl's condition is serious. Dr. Barbara Knox, medical director of the child protection program at American Family Children's Hospital, told police the girl has a substantial risk of death due to her malnutrition. Knox said the girl also had a substantial risk of death from a re-feeding syndrome, which is when the body reacts negatively to food being introduced after a period of starvation.

Police said they had responded to a reported incident involving the victim in 2007. They said an unnamed party alleged the girl might have been molested by a family member. However, the girl didn't corroborate the allegation during the investigation, police said.

They said, at the time, the girl appeared healthy.

Police said they are working with many agencies on this case.