Man accused in child's death dies in Maquoketa

Date: 2010-09-04

Sheri Melvold The Quad-City Times |

MAQUOKETA, Iowa — A Jackson County man facing a charge stemming from the death of his adopted 4-year-old son died Saturday afternoon, apparently of natural causes, at a home in Maquoketa.

The death of Andrew Holdgrafer, 32, is not considered suspicious, Jackson County Sheriff’s deputy Steve Schroeder said.

The deputy said Holdgrafer was staying at a Maquoketa home. He collapsed Saturday afternoon while working in the garage of the residence. Maquoketa Rescue Squad members attempted to revive the man, but they were not successful, the deputy added.

Holdgrafer had been charged with child endangerment resulting in death in connection with the death of his son, Collin Holdgrafer. He had entered a plea of not guilty and was free on $50,000 bond.

While Holdgrafer was released from custody late last month, his wife, Danielle, 30, continues to be held in the Jones County Jail on charges of first-degree murder and child endangerment. Her bond was set at $200,000.

Andrew Holdgrafer was accused of watching but doing nothing as his wife allegedly held the head of the child under water in the bathtub of their apartment June 12. The boy died that evening at Jackson County Regional Health Center in Maquoketa.

In court documents, Darrell Simmons, an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation special agent, said Danielle Holdgrafer dunked Collin’s head under water while bathing the child. He said the “dunking activities” resulted in the child’s death.

Simmons wrote that Andrew Holdgrafer admitted he had prior knowledge “that abuse and neglect had been taking place and he failed to take action.”

Court documents filed in the case also alleged that between January 2007 and June 11, Danielle Holdgrafer had custody over another minor child “with a mental or physical disability” and committed an act that resulted in bodily injury to that youngster.

The Holdgrafers were the parents of three children of their own, all of whom were placed in foster care earlier this year.

As part of some pre-trial release requirements set in June, District Judge Nancy Tabor ordered that Andrew Holdgrafer wear an electronic monitoring device and not leave Maquoketa. He also was required to abide by a curfew and be at his residence between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily.

Danielle Holdgrafer, who has pleaded not guilty, has a pre-trial conference scheduled Sept. 17. No trial date has been scheduled.


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