Police: DHS feared for Monona toddler's safety prior to injury - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Police: DHS feared for Monona toddler's safety prior to her head injury

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Myah Larson in the hospital within a month of her injury Myah Larson in the hospital within a month of her injury
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

The man suspected of injuring a Monona toddler last month is behind bars and faces prosecution in three counties.

Shortly before 10 p.m. on Saturday, Dubuque police arrested 21-year-old Troy Laufenberg at the Road Ranger on Central Avenue, after he had been on the run for more than a month.

"Troy was supposedly going to meet somebody at the Road Ranger," Monona police chief Jane Scott-Quandahl said. "He was identified, and Dubuque PD was called in and he was arrested without incident."

Scott-Quandahl said Laufenberg has friends and family in Dubuque and was staying with someone he knew.

The pursuit of Laufenberg, however, has its roots in July 15, when Monona officials responded to the apartment Laufenberg shared with his girlfriend, 18-year-old Emily Voshell; the couple's baby; and a toddler, Myah Larson, from Voshell's previous relationship.

There, Scott-Quandahl found Myah injured and unresponsive.

Five days later, on July 20, Clayton County prosecutor Al Heavens filed three charges against Laufenberg: possession of meth, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and child endangerment for allegedly having meth in an apartment where two children also lived.

Scott-Quandahl said the Department of Human Services had been monitoring the couple for the entire month leading up to Myah's injury. She couldn't say much more, other than the DHS had suspicions Myah might be in danger and the toddler's head injury happened the day after the DHS completed its month-long observation.

Since July 15, Myah has been in a coma-like state and is now in the care of state officials in Johnston.

On Sunday, Laufenberg appeared before a judge and as of Monday is in the Dubuque County jail with no option of bonding out.

In Dubuque County, he faces a hearing for violating his probation. The original charge was third-degree burglary.

A Wisconsin county also wants Laufenberg. Between that and the pending proceedings in Dubuque and Clayton counties, Laufenberg shouldn't be walking out of custody any time soon.

After more than a month of searching for Laufenberg, Scott-Quandahl said it's a relief to law enforcement agents and community members alike that the man is behind bars.

"It was just shy of 40 days that he was on the run," Scott-Quandahl said, recalling Saturday night. "My officer called me and said, 'I've got good news and I've got good news.' I said, 'Well, give me the good news.' He says, 'They caught Troy down in Dubuque.'"

The Clayton County prosecutor said he's exploring the possibility of filing additional charges, including ones stemming from child abuse and evading law enforcement. He also said it's still within the realm of possibilities that Voshell, Myah's mother, could face charges, too, though he added every consideration is still on the table at this point.

Laufenberg will appear in court Tuesday morning regarding his Dubuque County probation violations, according to judge Monica Ackley.

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