Mother will not face murder charges in adopted son's death - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mother will not face murder charges in adopted son's death


BELLEVUE (KWWL) -- A mother once charged with killing her son is no longer facing First Degree Murder charges. Court documents show, on June 12, Danielle Holdgrafer held her adoptive son Collin's head under water in a bathroom at the family apartment in Andrew. Collin died at a hospital that night.

Tuesday, a Jackson County judge dismissed the murder charges against Holdgrafer. Instead, the 30-year-old will face Child Endangerment Resulting in Death, and two counts of Child Endangerment Resulting in Bodily Injury.

A spokesperson with the Iowa Attorney General office explained, the state does not believe it has sufficient evidence to proceed with the murder charge in court. They are not able to comment any further because this is an ongoing case.

One woman who is talking is Collin's aunt, Sara Holdgrafer. She said, this is the latest blow in a devastating summer for her family. Last month Sara's brother Andrew, who is Danielle's husband, died of a heart attack. Sara believes this left the state without the evidence or testimony they needed to pursue a murder charge.

"Just cause he can't back up anything she says, or say no, that's not right. He's gone. He can't say no, she's lying, this is what really happened," she said. "We would all like the murder charge to go back on, but if it doesn't, she would still get the 50 years and she'll still be 80 some years old when she gets out."

Sara said her family is sticking by one another through this tough time. Danielle Holdgrafer's other four children are being held in child protective custody services. They do get to see family members occasionally.

A pre-trial conference for the remaining three charges is scheduled for Oct. 29 in Jackson County District Court. Danielle is being held in the Jones County Jail on $200,000 cash bond.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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