Eyewitness News continues to ask questions about the death of Natalie Pickle. Pickle died nearly a year ago and authorities ruled it a homicide. Yet no charges have been filed in the case.
"This was a human being," said grandfather Gary Perry. "She was a part of our life. I think things should be moving forward and they're not."
Perry says as each day goes by, the family gets more frustrated. Perry says at the beginning, they gave authorities and prosecutors time to get the case in order. But now, nearly a year later, they are concerned charges may never be filed.
"I don't understand it," said Perry. "I'm not a legal person. I'm just a grandfather who's lost his granddaughter."
Eyewitness News contacted Ford County Attorney Terry Malone. He says there's nothing new to report about the case.
The family of Natalie Pickle is frustrated charges have not been filed in her death. The three year-old died November 19th. Dodge City Police ruled the death a homicide but charges have yet to be filed in the case.
Pickle lived in Dodge City with her mother and her mother's boyfriend. The three year-old was home with the boyfriend when something happened. Pickle was flown to a Wichita hospital. Amanda Pickle, Natalie's mother, says doctors told her it was no accident.
"He told us this looked like something from a fall from a five story building," said Perry. "This isn't something you see from a two foot bed."
Eyewitness News talked with Perry last month. Since that time, a judge has issued a gag order to anyone involved. But Natalie's grandparents who live in Wichita say it's taking too long for Ford County officials in Dodge City to file charges.
"We've had all this child abuse that has taken place in Wichita and justice was served in those cases in a matter of days," said Sandy Pickle.
Last year, eight children in Sedgwick County died in child-abuse related cases. In all but one case, charges were filed within a week. In Natalie's case it's been more than 70 days now. Since there's a gag order in place the Ford County Attorney can't talk with us. But other prosecutors say time is not as important as having a solid case.
"The bottom line is that you have proof sufficient to prove someone is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt," said Sedgwick County Deputy District Attorney Kim Parker.
The Sedgwick County District Attorney's office is not involved in Natalie's case. Prosecutors say Wichita is fortunate to have immediate resources for child abuse situations - something smaller jurisdictions may not have. But right now, that's little comfort to Natalie's family.
"We may never see closure," said Donnie Pickle, Natalie's grandfather. "Not so much for us but for Natalie."