Documents claim mother held child’s head under water

Date: 2010-06-18

Sheri Melvold

ANDREW, Iowa — The adoptive mother of the 4-year-old child who died a week ago today intentionally held his head under water in a bathtub in their apartment, according to court documents.

Danielle and Andrew Holdgrafer are charged in the death of their adopted son, Collin Parker William Holdgrafer.

Documents filed by Darrell Simmons, Department of Criminal Investigation special agent, indicated that Danielle Holdgrafer, 29, dunked Collin’s head under water while bathing the child. He said the “dunking activities” resulted in the death of the child.

The adoptive father, Andrew Holdgrafer, watched his wife dunking the child’s head under the bath water and did nothing, the documents state. The parents left the bathroom and shortly thereafter found the child unresponsive. Simmons said it resulted in the death of the child.

Court documents said Andrew Holdgrafer admitted to officers that he had prior knowledge “that abuse and neglect had been taking place and he failed to take action.”

Danielle Holdgrafer was charged with first-degree murder and is being held in Jones County Jail on $200,000 cash bond. Andrew Holdgrafer is being held in Jackson County Detention Center on $50,000 cash bond on charges of child endangerment resulting in the death of a child.

The pair are scheduled to appear Thursday in Jackson County District Court for a preliminary hearing. Public defenders have been appointed for them. In court documents, Danielle lists herself as having no job. Andrew is the caretaker at Mount Hope Cemetery in Maquoketa.

The couple had five children. Collin and another child were adopted; both are the biological sons of Jodi Holdgrafer, who is in prison on drug charges. Andrew Holdgrafer is her brother.

Three other children in the home are the biological children of Danielle and Andrew Holdgrafer. All four children were removed from the home Saturday night by Department of Human Services and placed in foster care.


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