MIAMI, Fla. (WFLA) — A 9-year-old girl allegedly begged her mother to eat while she was held captive for years.

NBC affiliate WTVJ reported that the girl’s mother, 42-year-old Kelli McGriff-Williams, went before a judge for the first time Thursday after she was arrested last week on child neglect charges.

Court records show that McGriff-Williams did not let the girl leave their Miami home from 2017 to 2023. The girl reportedly spent most of her time inside a bedroom. Authorities said the girl begged her mother to eat and she would not always feed her.

Police said McGriff-Williams didn’t enroll her daughter in school so the girl is unable to read or write.

The news station reported that the Miami-Dade Police Department responded to McGriff-Williams’ home on Aug. 26 in reference to a Department of Children and Families investigation.

According to records, the girl’s father has been trying to gain custody of the child since 2015.

“I understand there may be mental health issues but this is pretty egregious conduct on the parent’s behalf,” said Judge Mindy Glazer. “I mean it’s just horrendous. What’s even more horrendous is that nobody has done anything for at least the last five years to stop this or remove the child. Somebody dropped the ball.”

McGriff-Williams was granted a $5,000 bond in the case.