Tampering charge dropped in 2012 death of West Texas toddler
Sep. 01, 2018
ABILENE, Texas (AP) — Prosecutors have dropped an evidence tampering charge against an ex-Child Protective Services supervisor in the 2012 starvation death of a Texas toddler while her airman father was deployed overseas.
A judge dismissed the 2014 felony count against Martha Kiel Whitaker. Prosecutors said they could not prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt in the death of 22-month-old Tamryn Klapheke (klah-PEEK'). She was found unresponsive in her home at Dyess Air Force Base.
Abilene police alleged CPS mishandled evidence and raised concerns about the cooperation of supervisors.
The victim's mother, Tiffany Klapheke, was convicted of injury to a child by malnutrition and dehydration and sentenced to 30 years. She said her now ex-husband's deployment left her too stressed to care for their children. Texas took custody of the couple's other two girls.