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Author Topic: Abilene PD Actively Investigating local CPS Office  (Read 6780 times)
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MuffyBee
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« on: October 15, 2012, 06:31:59 PM »

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/CPS-target-of-probe-after-toddler-dies-3948135.php
CPS target of probe after toddler dies
October 15, 2012

Nearly two months after Tiffany Klapheke's airman husband was deployed to Oman, their 22-month-old child was found dead of dehydration, left so long in her own waste she had chemical burns on her face from urine-soaked bedding.

Their other two children were alive, but barely hanging on as they too were left abandoned in soiled sheets. The insulin levels in the youngest, just 6 months old, were so low, she was near death.

Six days before officers were called to the home, a newly-minted Texas Child Protective Services supervisor hastily but quietly closed an 11-month-old neglect investigation involving Tamryn, the dead toddler, without making a required final visit to the family or having someone approve the case's closure.

Those two errors, along with a series of others committed by CPS workers in Abilene, are the latest fatal foibles involving child abuse victims across Texas in which too few workers are investigating too many cases at one time. In this instance, the Houston Chronicle has learned, CPS - the state agency charged with caring for abused children - is now the target of a rare criminal investigation.

"The Abilene Police Department is actively investigating the local CPS office," Chief Stan Standridge confirmed, declining to give any other details.
 ::snipping2::
In September 2011, just 23 percent of the Abilene office's cases were at least 60 days old. By the time Tamryn died Aug. 28, about half of 453 cases the office was handling were delinquent. Five workers were investigating nearly 300; one was dealing with 72.

Klapheke now is in the Taylor County jail, arrested on three counts of injury to a child.

On her Facebook page, she proclaims herself a loving wife and proud mother of three beautiful girls. But inside the Dyess Air Force Base house she shared with her children, all in diapers, their lives were precariously unraveling. The Klapheke's children had been the subject of three previous neglect investigations between April 2010 and September 2011. Neglect was ruled out in all three.

But the most recent case involving Tamryn and her older sister stalled for 11 months until Aug. 22. That's when caseworker Claudia Gonzalez marked the case closed, effectively bypassing the required supervisor's signature, an act considered a firing offense by CPS.

She also had failed to check on the children a final time. Before closing the case, her last visit with the family was Oct. 1, 2011.

"When last seen Oct. 1, Tamyrn appeared healthy to the worker," said CPS spokesman Patrick Crimmins.

But in the time that Tamyrn's case lay dormant, much had changed. Tiffany Klapheke had given birth to a third girl, been hired and let go by the Abilene Bowling Lanes and said goodbye to her Oman-bound spouse Thomas Klapheke.

These details went unnoticed by CPS in Abilene, a city of 118,000, about 400 miles northwest of Houston.

By then, Gonzalez had been promoted to supervisor and was working to clear cases, according to CPS. She resigned Sept. 13 following Tamyrn's death.

"I have decided to submit my resignation," she wrote to her program director. "It has been a hard decision, but I think it is the best decision."

Gonzalez could not be reached for comment. Her supervisor, Barbara McDaniel, received a reprimand last week.

"Your lack of follow-up and supervision resulted in Ms. Gonzalez not having regular contact with the family and ensuring the children's safety," the reprimand states.
 ::snipping2::
In all of the three previous neglect complaints made on April 2, 2010, April 27, 2011, and Sept. 29, 2011, the Dyess AFB Family Advocacy Center also was involved.

Military officials did not respond to questions about base social workers' interaction with the Klapheke family.


Since Tamryn's death, CPS officials have closed their investigation, finding that the mother physically and medically neglected her children. CPS workers also confirmed there had been "neglectful supervision" of the girls by Tamryn's mother, her boyfriend and father.
 ::snipping2::
Tamryn's sisters now are in foster care together.

"We are providing a great deal of support and services to the father, and everyone involved in the case has agreed that this is what is best right now," Crimmins said. "He is visiting both girls in the home regularly, and our hope is that the family can be reunited."   
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2012, 05:32:02 AM »

By family being reunited, I hope they don't mean with the mom.
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2012, 12:59:52 PM »

By family being reunited, I hope they don't mean with the mom.

I'm not sure the girls should be reunited with the father either.   

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/CPS-target-of-probe-after-toddler-dies-3948135.php
 ::snipping2::
CPS workers also confirmed there had been "neglectful supervision" of the girls by Tamryn's mother, her boyfriend and father.
 ::snipping2::
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2012, 01:03:23 PM »

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/police-probe-texas-agency-case-child-died-17489802
Police Probe Texas Agency in Case Where Child Died
October 16, 2012

 ::snipping2::

Abilene police Chief Stan Standridge said the department is investigating the local Child Protective Services office after a new supervisor closed the case six days before the child's death on Aug. 28.

Agency spokesman Patrick Crimmins said a caseworker assigned to investigate allegations of medical neglect against Tiffany Nicole Klapheke closed the case soon after being promoted to supervisor. In doing so, she violated agency guidelines that require a final face-to-face visit and someone else to sign off on the closure, he said.

"You want to see the family again because you don't know what might have changed since you saw them," Crimmins said.

The employee hadn't seen the family in about 10 months when she closed the case, he said.
She resigned a couple of weeks after Tamryn Klapheke died.
Her former supervisor, who oversaw the investigation of the allegations, has been has been disciplined, he added.

"It was a bad case, admittedly," Crimmins said, referring to how it was handled. "There's no question about that."
 ::snipping2::
When her mother was arrested following her death, she claimed she was too stressed by her husband's deployment to care for their three young children. Klapheke faces three felony charges of injury to child.

She remained jailed Tuesday in lieu of $500,000 bond. Jail records did not list an attorney for her.

Tamryn Klapheke died at an Abilene hospital after being found unresponsive at her home at Dyess Air Force Base. She weighed only 17.5 pounds and her body had chemical burns, indicating she had been exposed to human waste, the medical examiner's report said.


Klapheke's two other daughters, ages 6 months and 3 years at the time, were treated for severe neglect at a children's hospital in Fort Worth, about 150 miles east of Abilene. They are now in foster care, Crimmins said.
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2012, 04:49:07 PM »

By family being reunited, I hope they don't mean with the mom.

I'm not sure the girls should be reunited with the father either.   

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/CPS-target-of-probe-after-toddler-dies-3948135.php
 ::snipping2::
CPS workers also confirmed there had been "neglectful supervision" of the girls by Tamryn's mother, her boyfriend and father.
 ::snipping2::

Maybe not mom, but father, yes.  If the children go into foster care, the state has to pay the fosters to care for the children.  If they go with family, even grandparents or aunts/uncles, that doesn't occur. 

BTW, don't let that 453 number shock you.  Some of those cases are duplications, some of the cases have been resolved, but not closed, and in many of them, the families can not be found, possibly because the cases are sold old.  That being said, CPS is underfunded and understaffed.  Most case workers do not last a year because of job stress and low pay.  I wouldn't do their job! 

CPS in Texas is inept to the point of criminal culpability.   
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We don`t know who the monsters are.  And as a parent, our job is to take care of our children. Ken Fries, Sheriff Allen County commenting on the death of Aliah
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2012, 02:47:32 PM »

http://www.knoe.com/story/19832876/police-probe-texas-agency-in-case-where-child-died
Police probe Texas agency in case where child died
October 16, 2012

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Police have launched a rare investigation of the Texas child protection agency after a 22-month-old girl died and her mother claimed her military husband's deployment overseas left her too stressed to care for their three children.

Abilene police Chief Stan Standridge said in an emailed statement Tuesday that the department began investigating the local Child Protective Services office after "certain CPS supervisors" refused to cooperate with officers investigating the Aug. 28 death of Tamryn Klapheke.

The girl died at an Abilene hospital after being found unresponsive at her home at Dyess Air Force Base. She weighed only 17.5 pounds and her body had chemical burns, indicating she had been exposed to human waste, according to a preliminary autopsy report from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office in Fort Worth. It said Tamryn suffered dehydration and malnutrition from a lack of basic care over a period of time.

Her mother, Tiffany Nicole Klapheke, faces three felony charges of injury to child. After her arrest, she claimed she was too stressed by her husband's deployment to care for their three young children.
More...
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2012, 02:49:56 PM »

http://www.ktxs.com/news/KLAPHEKE-DEATH-Abilene-police-believe-three-CPS-supervisors-may-have-tampered-with-evidence-in-child-neglect-case/-/14769632/16995858/-/2q8b8x/-/index.html
KLAPHEKE DEATH: Abilene police believe three CPS supervisors may have tampered with evidence in child neglect case
Posted October 15, 2012, Updated October 17, 2012

ABILENE, Texas -
Abilene police searched offices at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Tuesday as part of an investigation into Child Protective Servicesí handling of a neglect case that resulted in one child dying.
 ::snipping2::

In their Affidavit for Search Warrant, police investigators named CPS supervisors Bit Whitaker, Gretchen Denny, and Barbara McDaniel as being suspected of tampering with evidence in the CPS investigation of conditions at the Klapheke Dyess Air Force Base home. Tampering with evidence is a third-degree felony.

Tuesday, uniformed officers monitored the exits at CPS as APD detectives worked inside. The search started about 11:30 a.m.

According to reports, a CPS supervisor allegedly closed an 11-month-old investigation involving Tamryn Klapheke -- six days before officers found the young child had died as a result of severe neglect.
 ::snipping2::
(press release in article at link above)


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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2012, 02:53:05 PM »

I'm not sure how the law is written but it seems like the charge should be murder if a caregiver witholds food and water which causes the death of a child.  Injury to a child would apply to the two still living children.
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2012, 05:35:46 PM »

I'm not sure how the law is written but it seems like the charge should be murder if a caregiver witholds food and water which causes the death of a child.  Injury to a child would apply to the two still living children.
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2014, 11:10:26 PM »

http://www.myfoxdfw.com/story/24713257/texas-mom-guilty-in-daughters-malnutrition-death
Texas mom guilty in daughter's malnutrition death
February 13, 2014

ABILENE, Texas (AP) - A West Texas woman accused in her daughter's death by malnutrition and neglect has been found guilty.

The Abilene Reporter-News reports that 23-year-old Tiffany Klapheke was found guilty Wednesday of injury to a child in the 2012 death of 22-month-old Tamryn Klapheke. The Taylor County jury returned with the verdict after about six hours of deliberation.
 
Klapheke, who didn't testify, has said her Air Force husband's deployment overseas left her too stressed to care for their three girls. Prosecutors said Klapheke kept Tamryn locked in a room for four days before finding her dead in her crib and calling 911.

The jury is set to begin deliberations in the punishment phase Thursday morning. Klapheke faces up to life in prison.
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2014, 09:01:23 AM »


why the blazes would she lock the door?

POS!
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2015, 09:29:41 AM »

Tamryn Klapheke is one of the four children in this article.


http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/texas-news/2015/03/06/texas-cps-cases-failures/24486369/
4 cases in which CPS mistakes contributed to deaths
March 6, 2015

 
Tamryn Klapheke, 22 months, was pronounced dead at an Abilene hospital in August 2012 after being found unconscious in a urine-soaked bed at her family's home. An autopsy found she died of starvation. The child's mother told the authorities that she was too stressed out to care for her three children after her husband was deployed overseas. Her mother was later found guilty of injury to a child. The caseworker who had been assigned to investigate complaints of medical neglect against the child's mother had closed out the case just six days before the toddler died. The review found that employee hadn't seen the family in about 10 months at the time she closed the case. A former CPS regional administrator was indicted on a tampering with evidence charge last summer. (Source: Abilene Reporter-News)
 
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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2015, 10:15:48 AM »

Tamryn Klapheke is one of the four children in this article.


http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/texas-news/2015/03/06/texas-cps-cases-failures/24486369/
4 cases in which CPS mistakes contributed to deaths
March 6, 2015

 
Tamryn Klapheke, 22 months, was pronounced dead at an Abilene hospital in August 2012 after being found unconscious in a urine-soaked bed at her family's home. An autopsy found she died of starvation. The child's mother told the authorities that she was too stressed out to care for her three children after her husband was deployed overseas. Her mother was later found guilty of injury to a child. The caseworker who had been assigned to investigate complaints of medical neglect against the child's mother had closed out the case just six days before the toddler died. The review found that employee hadn't seen the family in about 10 months at the time she closed the case. A former CPS regional administrator was indicted on a tampering with evidence charge last summer. (Source: Abilene Reporter-News)
 

I have no words. It seems our CPS system is as screwed up as our justice system.  To many babies are being lost because of it. 
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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2015, 01:00:41 PM »

Tamryn Klapheke is one of the four children in this article.


http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/texas-news/2015/03/06/texas-cps-cases-failures/24486369/
4 cases in which CPS mistakes contributed to deaths
March 6, 2015

 
Tamryn Klapheke, 22 months, was pronounced dead at an Abilene hospital in August 2012 after being found unconscious in a urine-soaked bed at her family's home. An autopsy found she died of starvation. The child's mother told the authorities that she was too stressed out to care for her three children after her husband was deployed overseas. Her mother was later found guilty of injury to a child. The caseworker who had been assigned to investigate complaints of medical neglect against the child's mother had closed out the case just six days before the toddler died. The review found that employee hadn't seen the family in about 10 months at the time she closed the case. A former CPS regional administrator was indicted on a tampering with evidence charge last summer. (Source: Abilene Reporter-News)
 

I have no words. It seems our CPS system is as screwed up as our justice system.  To many babies are being lost because of it. 

sad but true!

 
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