Local Coverage

Sep 5, 2012 11:47 PM

Website Set Up to Help Surviving Girls in Child Neglect Case

It's been one week since 22-month-old Tamryn Klapheke died. Police say her mother, Tiffany Klapheke, left Tamryn alone for days on end without food or water. Now LEX18 has learned Tamryn's two sisters are still in a Texas hospital getting treatment.

LEX18 spoke with Tiffany Klapheke's adoptive mother and her husband in Scott County. They talked about the turmoil they are going through, and the website they set up to help their granddaughters.

"I just try to take the day in little pieces, little chunks," says Tina Romano, who raised Tiffany Klapheke since she was eight-years-old.

When Tina learned of the horrific allegations of neglect, she took the first plane to Abilene, TX and went straight to the hospital, where she didn't leave until Social Services let her see her grandaughters, Taber Lee and Tatum.

"They're very traumatized. It's very hard to see them with such fear," says Tina Romano.

She says the oldest girl is afraid of closed doors.

In a jail interview, Tiffany Klapheke said she neglected her daughters because she was depressed and missed her airman husband, Thomas Klapheke. Tina Romano thinks it was stubborness that kept her adopted daughter from reaching out for help on the Dyess Air Force Base while her husband, Thomas Klapheke was deployed.

"Tiffany was very private," says Tina. "She wanted to prove to the world that she was the best at everything."

They say even as they mourn baby Tamryn's tragic death, their focus must be on the surviving girls.

"Our focus has to be on Taber Lee and Tatum now, and their future. They have a great dad, a wonderful father," says Scott Romano, Tina's husband.

Scott Romano created a website in memory of baby Tamryn as a way for people to help.

The website is called taberleeandtatum.com.

All donations will be used for the care of the three-year-old and six-month-old girls.

Tiffany Klapheke is in a Texas jail, charged with three counts of felony injury to a child.

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