Briana Heaney Published

Department Of Human Services Continues To Deny Culpability In Passing Of Boone County Girl

Two women wearing a navy blazer and a teal blazer, testify before a wooden podium. Behind them is a red wall and a screen showing charts and graphs.
Cynthia Persily sat down with a WSAZ reporter to discuss the case. Persily told WSAZ that the Department of Human Services had no records at all of Kyneddi Miller.
Will Price/WV Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Department of Human Services (DoHS) released a statement Tuesday refuting recent reports from southern West Virginia television station WSAZ about the 14-year-old girl who was found in a near skeletal state by Boone County deputies. 

The station recently reported that the Department of Human Services did in fact have contact with the family of the now deceased Kyneddi Miller. This was based on documents from an anonymous whistleblower who claimed to be a social worker with the department. It included cases in 2009 and 2017. 

Additionally, the station had information from the state police indicating that Child Protective Services had been notified about the alleged abuse and neglect. 

“We are aware of information suggesting that West Virginia State Police intended to make a referral on this child in March 2023,” Department Secretary Cynthia Persily said. “However, a comprehensive search of DoHS records suggests no referral was ever made.” 

Nearly two weeks after WSAZ’s report, Persily reiterated the department had no records of abuse. 

“DoHS never received an abuse or neglect referral relating to the death of Kyneddi Miller, and was therefore not involved in the life of this child prior to her passing,” Persily said. 

In the same statement, Persily said that the whistleblower broke state and federal law by sharing the information with WSAZ. 

“We are extremely disappointed by the disclosure of information relating to those prior matters by an anonymous informant and by members of the local media,” Persily said.