Family members say 4 year old drowning could have been prevented - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Family members say 4 year old drowning could have been prevented

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- As we reported Thursday, the parents of a four year old who drown last weekend have been charged in connection with his death. 31 year old, Andrew Holdgrafer has been charged with child endangerment. His wife, 29 year old, Danielle Holdgrafer has been charged with first degree murder.

Authorities say Collin Holdgrafer drowned in a bathtub at the Franklin Street Apartments in Andrew last Saturday. Its a tragic story that Collin's aunt, Sara Holdgrafer tells us could have been prevented if the Jackson County Department Human Services responded to complaints. We spoke with Sara and she tells her side of the story.

"This could have been prevented," Holdgrafer said.

"I used to go once a week, once every other week I used to go on a repeated basis like every other week. Until my brother and I had different opinions. 'Cause I spoke out and said 'I don't like how you're raising my nephews'," she said.

She says after her sister, Jodi Holdgrafer, was arrested on drug charges her brother Andrew and his wife Danielle agreed to adopt Jodi's children. Since then Sara's been unhappy with what was going on inside the Franklin Street Apartment.

"I couldn't sit back and watch it anymore. So I called DHS and they did a drug test and the test said that she was on meth. She was removed from the home and a week later she was back," Holdgrafer said.

She said she and several others contacted the Department of Human Services in both Jackson and Dubuque counties, but nothing happened.

Thursday Collin's grandmother received a letter from DHS that she says confirms an investigation. But for family members, it's an investigation they asked for months ago.

"But now it is too late," Holdgrafer said.

We contacted both local and state DHS officials. Dubuque and Jackson counties referred us to Des Moines. We heard back from Julie Allison, Bureau Chief of Child Services. She says once a complaint is filed it must meet one of nine requirements for a DHS investigation. Drug use by caretakers is specifically not on the list. Drug use by a parent or care person does not result in automatic removal. It's a case by case decision.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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