exposing the dark side of adoption
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At 12:20pm on August 13, 2005, the Iowa City Police Department Emergency Communications Center received an abandoned 911 call from 918 Ginter Av, the Brian Dykstra residence. On callback, the dispatcher spoke with Brian Dykstra. Dykstra said his baby was possibly having a "little seizure" and was having difficulty breathing. He added that he felt it might be related to a head injury.

Responding units from the Iowa City Police Department, the Iowa City Fire Department, and the Johnson County Ambulance Service found 20-month old Isaac Dykstra unconscious on the living room floor. Isaac was clearly in distress - his breathing was labored and he had obvious head injuries evidenced by bruising. Brian Dykstra was the only caregiver home at the time. ICPD officers found Brian Dykstra's explanation of the incident to be suspicious, incomplete, and inconsistent with the observed injuries and scene. Isaac was transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics Emergency Treatment Center by ambulance.

UIHC medical personnel quickly determined that Isaac was suffering from a combination of life-threatening injuries including massive brain swelling, severe bleeding inside the skull, and retinal swelling in both eyes. Isaac also had severe bruising on other regions of his body including his torso and legs. Several physicians stated some of these acute injuries had occurred earlier in the day and were inconsistent with the explanation offered by Brian Dykstra. Isaac underwent emergency brain surgery in an effort to save his life. Isaac never regained consciousness and was declared brain-dead on August 14, 2005.

Isaac was born in Russia on November 18, 2003. Just months before his death, Isaac was adopted by Brian Dykstra and his wife. In the time since Isaac's death, Brian Dykstra and his wife have relocated to 191 Pin Du Lac Dr, Central, South Carolina.

The ICPD and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation have been pursuing a suspicious death investigation since Isaac's death. They have been assisted throughout the investigation by the Johnson County Attorney's Office. After painstaking collection, examination, and review of all evidence (notably, medical records) investigators have concluded that Isaac died from head trauma inflicted upon him while he was in the sole custody and care of Brian Dykstra.

On August 7, 2008, an arrest warrant was obtained for Brian Dale Dykstra, born August 11, 1976, charging him with Murder 2nd Degree (Class "B" felony) in the death of his 20-month-old adopted son, Isaac. At 4:28am today, Brian Dale Dykstra surrendered himself at the ICPD, was arrested, and transported to the Johnson County Jail.

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Originating Department: Police

Contact Person: Sgt. Troy Kelsay

Contact Phone: (319) 356-5293

2008 Aug 9