Amanda Runyon is the 3 year old daughter of Eddie Runyon and Dawn Obptande. Amanda lived with her mom Dawn and her mom’s live in boyfriend, Kraig A. Monroe, 24. Eddie is a coal miner in Kentucky and was often out of town so he was unable to see little Amanda on a daily basis. Dawn also has 2 other children besides Amanda and Kraig has 1 child, all 4 children lived in the home. Kraig’s child slept in a bed, Dawn’s children were made to sleep on the floor.
Neighbor’s reported that they saw and heard domestic violence in the mobile home on several occasions.
At the time Kraig was an unemployed roofer so he would babysit while Dawn was at work at a Nursing Home. For 3 to 4 days Dawn left Amanda with Kraig Monroe while she was working and he brutally beat baby Amanda.
On March 1, 2010 Kraig repeatedly punched Amanda in the stomach using full force while she sat in her little Elmo chair. He also ripped her hair out of her head because she wouldn’t quit crying.
When Dawn came home from work and saw that Amanda was obviously injured she gave her Motrin. It wasn’t until the next morning that she took her to the hospital.
When she arrived at Memorial Hospital in Belleville, IL. on March 2nd, 2010 she was vomiting, listless and unconscious. Amanda was suffering a lacerated ulcer, lacerations to her liver, a tear in her intestine, a previously broken leg that was healing, a broken foot, and a broken arm that had not been treated. She was placed on a breathing tube and put into a medically induced coma.
Amanda’s dad arrived at the Hospital as soon as he heard the news. He stayed at her side the whole time.
Doctors were unsure if little Amanda was going to be able to pull through because of the seriousness of the injuries inflicted on her by Kraig Monroe.
Memorial Hospital airlifted Amanda to SSM Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis because she needed extensive care. The next day Amanda had surgery and the surgeon’s had to remove 18 inches of her small intestine. Doctors were unsure if she would ever be able to eat properly again and inserted a feeding tube for nutrition.
Dr. Tarun Kumar, a pediatric surgeon stated that he did not expect Amanda to have any long-term physical problems although there is a chance that she may have a bowel obstruction later on in life. Amanda would also have to take daily vitamins for the rest of her life because she is not able to digest food properly.
Before leaving the hospital Eddie told reporters: “I just want the daughter I had before this,” Runyon said. “Physically she’s doing great but I think it’s going to take a little while for her to get her old personality back and to trust people and be her lively little self. “She hasn’t talked about what happened, he said. She’s getting better every day, he said. But she doesn’t talk as much as she once did. “The girl would go up to complete strangers because she was so friendly,” he said. Asked if he was angry at who hurt his daughter, Runyon said he tries not to think about it. “I trust that the judicial system will give him what he deserves,” he said. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t angry but I’m a Christian man so it’s a little easier for me to keep my cool,” he added.
Amanda was finally able to go home on March 19, 2010.
On March 4th the St. Clair County building code inspectors condemned the trailer Kraig and Dawn lived in. The trailer had been uninhabitable for a very long time.
Kraig was arrested and is being held at St. Clair County jail on charges of aggravated assault against a child. During his bond hearing the judge set his bond at $500,000.
On May 13, 2010 the Judge reduced Kraig’s bond to $300,000 because he realized Amanda was no longer going to die. This means he would only need $30,000 to post bail and get out of jail. The only condition for release besides meeting the bail amount is for him to wear an ankle monitor. Kraig’s attorney Rick Roustin requested that it be lowered to $200,000 but the Judge denied it because of his criminal history. Kraig’s family posted his bail and he is still a free man as of today.
Kraig Monroe insists that he is innocent and his family is standing by him. “The only reason he is released because our granddaughter didn’t die, but the attacker’s intent was the same. There is no reason why he should be let loose,” said Pam Runyon, Amanda’s grandmother. “
Dawn has not been charged with anything.
Eddie Runyon now has full custody of Amanda and they are currently living in Kentucky.
On April 16th Dawn filed for temporary custody and tried to get the court to drop the protection order against her according to St. Clair County court documents but St. Clair County, Associate Judge, Michael N. Cook denied her requests.
She also wanted the judge to open a trust fund for Amanda for all the donated money because she was afraid Eddie Runyon would abuse his power with the proceeds. The judge denied that request to.
Dawn lost custody of her other children to but never bothered trying to gain custody of them back.
Dawn is allowed supervised 4 hour visits every other weekend.
Amanda Runyon’s grandmother Linda Ford plans to attend all hearings and reported “I want to see justice,” Linda also said she believes Monroe is guilty but said Amanda’s mother, Dawn Obptande, should be punished. “They should both pay for it,” she said.
Psychologically Amanda has been affected by this tragedy. Her family says:
“She’s still shy of people, you know,” Ford said. “But she’s kind of back to her normal self.” Sometimes she steers clear of men with beards but she was laughing and smiling—different from the quiet little girl who left the hospital. And “I didn’t expect her to come right up and be the same old daughter she was before,” Runyon said. “But she’s getting back to it, she’s there. It didn’t take much time.”
This is not the first time abuse has been suspected in the home.
When Amanda was 10 months old in 2008 a Randolph County Sheriff’s Deputy called DCFS after he was called out to a disturbance at Eddie’s home. He said it started when Dawn dropped Amanda off at Eddie’s and told him to take her, she could not care for her.
Dawn then showed up on Eddie’s doorstep again a few days later demanding that he give Amanda back to her and he said no. When the Sheriff was called out Eddie told them that Dawn brought Amanda over filthy without clothes and diapers.
Sheriff Kennedy called DCFS and spoke to Ken Beams, Ken said to give Amanda back to her mom. The Sheriff described Amanda as living in “squalor” and that her mom’s sex offender brother, Billy Obptande was also living in the home. Billy Obptande is a registered sex offender who was convicted of statutory rape with a female under the age of 17.
Sheriff Kennedy called Beams again. At that time Beams said a case would be opened and a caseworker would call the family within 24 hours. Two days later Sheriff Kennedy said he received a call from Richard Fulton a DCFS caseworker, Fulton said an investigation had been done and there were no threats to Amanda’s living environment.
On February 23, 2010 Amanda’s mom brought her to Belleville Memorial Hospital for a broken leg. Doctor’s also detected that Amanda had a broken arm that was healing but had not been cared for.
Dawn made many excuses about how Amanda could have broken leg in two places and her arm. She said, “maybe Amanda’s brother sat on her leg.” Can you imagine the guilt of that little boy thinking that he might have hurt his little sister so badly?
DCFS was notified AGAIN by Amanda’s daycare facility. At the time, DCFS called the hospital and confirmed Amanda did in fact have a broken leg so they opened an investigation for neglect against Dawn on February 24 according to Kendall Marlowe, spokesman for Illinois DCFS.
Unfortunately, when investigations are closed DCFS dumps their records so no one will ever know exactly what the DCFS investigator found, if anything, when they went to Amanda’s home said Whitelow. “By law, any investigation that is unfounded is expunged from our system,” Whitelow said. “The referenced investigation in July 2008 by deputy sheriff Rick Kennedy was an unfounded one and therefore has been removed from our system.”
This case has not received much media attention at all. Kraig Monroe walks the streets a free man, yes he wears a GPS ankle monitor but he has his freedom, that’s a hell of a lot more than he deserves.
Dawn Obptande, Amanda’s “mom” has not been charged with any crime. She is even able to have supervised visitation rights. Ask yourself, if your toddler had a broken leg or arm would you know it? If they were being systematically abused would you know? How could Dawn not know Amanda was being abused? Why did she not take her to the hospital when she got home? Why the hell is she not being charged? At the very least she should have charges of neglect.
While the family waits on the pending trial date of Kraig Monroe, little Amanda Runyon still shy’s away from men that remind her of Kraig. She may never be the same again because of what he took away from her. You don’t have to know Amanda to see the difference in who she used to be and who she is now. You can see it in her eyes when you look at her pictures.