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Oct 16, 2012 11:54 PM by Josh Breslow

Death Of Kentucky Toddler Leads To Investigation Into Child Protective Services In Texas

Two months after a Scott County, Kentucky native was arrested at her home on Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, charged in connection with the death of her 22-month-old daughter, disturbing allegations have been released in the investigation, involving Child Protective Services.

Abilene Police have said it appears that several workers at CPS in Texas tampered with evidence. Officers said, just six days before Tamryn Klapheke's death, a CPS employee closed the 11-month investigation involving the toddler without visiting the family's home. They even say the last visit from CPS was made nearly a year earlier.

As part of an investigation, Tuesday morning, police raided the CPS offices in Abilene, removing what looked to be documents and case files.

"I'm angry and I'm just disgusted," said Tina Romano, the grandmother of Tamryn. "Knowing that she had her third child and no one had been out to visit, I can't even think about that in any logical way, why there wasn't a visit. The child would be alive right now."

The Romanos' 21-year-old daughter, Tiffany Klapheke is accused of leaving Tamryn, her own child, to die in her soiled bed sheets at their home on Dyess Air Force Base, while her husband was deployed overseas. Klapheke's two other daughters were also hurt and severely neglected, according to investigators.

"Had they made one visit even within that 12 month period, they would have seen that there was a problem," Romano told LEX 18.

After Tamryn's death, police said they requested documents from CPS that should have been immediately turned over, but weren't until days later. At that point, the department said the records had apparently been tampered with. That led to the raid of the CPS office on Tuesday, which also included a CPS supervisor's home and a vehicle.

"I'm sure in the records they've confiscated, they'll find there are other issues of the same type of behavior," said Scott Romano, the grandfather of Tamryn and stepfather of Klapheke. "If they can't do anything about it, then our granddaughter died in vain and there will be other kids that follow her."

Police have also said that it appears CPS employees were told by supervisors not to cooperate with law enforcement during the investigation.

Three CPS supervisors are named in the search warrant. There have been no arrests.

The department adds that early evidence indicates there could have been tampering in other cases, as well. They also said that the Texas Office Of Inspector General could conduct its own investigation.

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