Zoey Felix: 5-Year-Old Kansas Girl Raped and Killed in Homeless Camp after Mother Kicked Her Out of House

Zoey had a tumultuous home life, as described by neighbors who frequently witnessed the young girl wandering without supervision.

A 5-year-old girl from Kansas was raped and killed at a homeless camp located in the woods as neighbors revealed that the girl's mother had thrown her and other family members out of their home. Zoey Felix was found at a gas station with severe, life-threatening injuries on Monday, the Topeka Police Department said.

She was immediately transported to a hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. Mickel W. Cherry, 25, was arrested on Tuesday and is now facing charges of murder and rape involving a victim under 14 years old, according to a report from local news outlet WBIW. The suspect was being held on a $2 million bond.

Mercilessly Killed Because of Her Mother

Zoey Felix
Zoey Felix GoFundMe

Neighbors told the Topeka Capital-Journal that Cherry had previously lived in the same home as Zoey, along with several others. They also said that Zoey's mother allegedly kicked them all out of the house around two weeks ago.

Following their eviction, they relocated to a campsite located less than a mile away.

Mickel W. Cherry
Mickel W. Cherry Facebook

Zoey had a tumultuous home life, as described by neighbors who frequently witnessed the young girl wandering without supervision.

The community collaborated to ensure she was cared for, providing help with bathing, clothing, and feeding. They said, Zoey did not attend school.

"Zoey did not deserve to be in anybody's woods," neighbor Sharon Williams told KSNT.

"This is her home right here. She has one, two, three, four, five people that would do anything for her."

Neighbor Shaniqua Bradley mentioned that Zoey would frequently visit her home seeking something to eat while wandering around the neighborhood.

Zoey Felix
Zoey Felix Facebook

"It was always 'Can I stay? Can I stay?'" Bradley said about the little girl.

"Normally when a kid is persistent about staying like that, something's going on at home."

Loved by Her Neighbors

Bradley and other neighbors said that they had made multiple reports to the Kansas Department for Children and Families during the weeks preceding Zoey's tragic demise. These reports highlighted the appalling living conditions within Zoey's home, notably the absence of running water and the presence of feces throughout the home.

Zoey Felix
Zoey Felix's mother Facebook

Despite reporting the dire living conditions to the Kansas Department for Children and Families, no action was taken to address the situation.

"I just reported the neglect that was going on," Williams said.

"She's always dirty, no food unless some of us fed her, but they didn't obviously take it serious."

"Everybody on the block took care of Zoey," said Sheryl Tyree, who does not live in the neighborhood but spends lots of time there.

"Everybody loved Zoey, except her parents."

Kansas state lawmakers are now pressing the Department of Children and Families for answers regarding the circumstances surrounding Zoey's case.

"We have to do more," Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau said.

"This is, this is unacceptable."

"We really need a deep dive on why the system is failing," Sen. Molly Baumgardner said.

Zoey Felix
Zoey Felix Facebook

As per court documents examined by the Capital-Journal, Zoey's mother pleaded guilty in March to aggravated battery causing bodily harm with a deadly weapon to a child born in 2018, identified by the initials "Z.F."

In the unfortunate event of a child's passing due to abuse or neglect, the Kansas Department of Children and Families (DCF) is mandated to release a summary of any prior abuse reports reviewed by the agency within seven business days, under the Kansas Open Records Act.

Topeka Police Chief Bryan Wheeles refrained from confirming whether authorities had any previous interactions with the family or their connection to the suspect.