The father of a baby who died earlier this month is still waiting to get closure while his daughter’s body is held by the Ada County Coroner’s Office and his ex-fiancée sits in the Twin Falls County Jail, having been charged with murder.
Officials are still not releasing information about how 20-month-old Lyryk Jean Altom died on Oct 14. The baby’s mother, Amanda Jean Dunlap, 22, of Twin Falls, faces charges of first-degree murder, eight felony counts of injury to a child and one misdemeanor count of injury to a child.
Logan Altom, Lyryk’s father, said he’d never have suspected abuse, although he hadn’t seen his daughter in the five weeks prior to her hospitalization.
“It’s really hard to believe that anybody’s capable of doing this,” Altom said. “I really hope she (Dunlap) didn’t do it.”
In response to an inquiry into the cause of Lyryk’s death, the Ada County coroner said that everything is pending and cannot be released.
Lyryk was born on Jan. 25, 2016, in Twin Falls. This month, she was flown by helicopter to Boise after police responded to a call for a baby in distress on Oct. 8. Lyryk died about a week later.
Six days after her daughter’s death, Dunlap was arrested.
Lyryk was “really, really happy all the time,” Altom said. She was also obedient, bringing things or stopping actions when asked.
“She liked Pokemon. She loved Pikachu and Haunter,” he said. “She liked My Little Pony a lot.”
Altom and Dunlap had been engaged until she left him earlier this year. Since then, it became difficult to keep in touch with her because of her busy schedule, he said. But he said he’d never noticed any bruises or injuries on their daughter.
Altom said it seemed that Dunlap loved both her children — she’s had joint custody with the father of her son, who was born in 2013, according to court records.
Dunlap was employed at Sizzler in Twin Falls prior to her arrest, court documents say.
Altom had visited his daughter frequently, but had stopped recently while he was dealing with some medical issues. After hearing about his daughter’s injuries, he flew to Boise.
“The brain injury was the reason she really didn’t make it,” Altom said.
Dunlap was transferred to Twin Falls County Jail from Ada County earlier this week. Her bail was kept at $2 million following an arraignment Tuesday. Judge Thomas D. Kershaw Jr. signed an order to seal court documents from the public and the media.
The Twin Falls mother has a history of misdemeanor crimes dating back to when she was a teenager, including possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia that stems from a case in Gooding County this summer.
During a Nov. 1, 2014, traffic stop, a police officer discovered marijuana and a pipe in Dunlap’s vehicle. She was sentenced to 16 hours of work detail and fined $200 plus costs and restitution.
When she was a senior in high school, Dunlap was cited on New Year’s Eve in 2012 for frequenting a place where a controlled substance is used. A charge for consuming alcohol as a minor was dropped and she was fined $352.50.