AMANDA RUNYON, BRUTALLY BEAT BY HER MOTHER’S BOYFRIEND, KRAIG MUNROE, PLACED IN MEDICALLY INDUCED COMA – CCA0035 – UPDATED 08.07.2013

AMANDA RUNYON BRUTALLY BEAT BY HER MOTHER’S BOYFRIEND, KRAIG MONROE, WAS PLACED IN A MEDICALLY INDUCED COMA

Amanda Runyon

Amanda Runyon

Amanda Runyon was a bright, outgoing, cheerful little girl by all accounts.  She loves baby dolls and lip gloss.  With her big beautiful eyes, blonde hair and heartwarming smile, she held the world in the palm of her hand.  And it only took one man to shatter all that.

On March 1, 2010, a monster by the name of Kraig Monroe beat Amanda so severely doctors did not expect her to live.  Kraig Monroe was Amanda’s mother’s live in boyfriend.  At the time Kraig was an unemployed roofer whom took on the responsibilities of babysitting Amanda, her two siblings and his son while Amanda’s mother, Dawn Obptande was at work at a nursing home.

Kraig Monroe

Kraig Monroe

Monroe apparently took a different babysitting course than I did as a teenager and used another method to stop the little girl from crying.  For a period of 3 – 4 days, Monroe brutally beat Amanda, ripping her hair out and punching her violently in the stomach repeatedly while she was pinned sitting in her little Elmo chair.  When Obptande arrived home from work and saw her clearly injured daughter, she gave her some Motrin – MOTRIN, more commonly used for a little relief of monthly female cramping – and put her to bed.  The next day when she finally brought Amanda to the emergency room, Amanda was vomiting, lethargic and lifeless and doctors determined her injuries were severe enough, that they had to place her in a MEDICALLY INDUCED COMA with a breathing tube and a feeding tube.  Let that sink in a minute ….   Amanda’s injuries were so severe, she suffered a lacerated liver, a lacerated ulcer, a tear in her intestine requiring her to have 18 inches, that’s one quarter, of her small intestine removed due to internal bleeding, a previously broken arm that went untreated, a broken foot and a broken leg which was in the process of healing, not to mention the numerous bald spots she had from Monroe ripping out her hair.

Amanda Runyon In The Hospital

Amanda Runyon In The Hospital

When questioned about how Amanda broke her arm and leg in two different places, the only reason Obptande could offer was “maybe her brother sat on her arm”.  Uhhhh, seriously?  My sons rode a suitcase down the basement stairs one afternoon, laughing like maniacs after being ejected 3 steps before the bottom onto the mountain of cushions and pillows they created – if a child can’t break an arm then, surely a sibling sitting on their arm won’t break it.  Did she actually think that excuse was believable?

Amanda and Eddie Runyon In The Hospital

Amanda and Eddie Runyon In The Hospital

I’m going to take a moment here to rage – WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH SOCIETY??????  A grown man does this unimaginable horrific beating of a little girl, and the worst we can give him – 3 meals a day, a bed to sleep in with a roof over his head, and I can only hope he will find some romance with his cell mate.  In exchange, Amanda, who pulled through like a fighter with endurance and bravery not often seen in this world anymore, was left with her life hanging in the balance in the Pediatric ICU at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center.  When it began to appear as though Amanda may survive, doctors were still not optimistic, preparing her family that she may require a feeding tube for the rest of her life due to how much of her small intestine had to be removed.  Still this beautiful baby girl fought to survive, and recovered in what some are calling a miracle.  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.  Amanda was able to go home, with her father who was granted full custody, on March 19, 2010.

Amanda Runyon

Amanda Runyon

When officials went to the trailer Amanda lived in with her mother and Monroe, another shocking scene unfolded.  The trailer itself was in such disrepair, that it was CONDEMNED with officials citing unsafe living conditions and no power.  A pit bull was also removed from the home.  With a search of the trailer it was discovered that Monroe’s son slept in a bed, while Obptande’s children were forced to sleep on the floor.  My kids sleep on the floor from time to time, when they are sleeping at Grandma and Grandpa’s, tenting it in the living room ….. I have an interesting theory when it comes to my boys, if I wouldn’t do it or stand for it – then they shouldn’t have to do it or stand for it either.

Amanda and Eddie Runyon In The Hospital

Amanda and Eddie Runyon In The Hospital

Amanda’s father, Eddie Runyon, held vigil at Amanda’s bed side the moment he received the news of what had happened.  Runyon was a coal miner in Kentucky.  Even though he lives out of state, he maintains a close relationship with his daughter, speaking to her on the phone on a daily basis until the end of January, 2010 – when Obptande began to hinder his ability to remain in contact with his daughter.  In the days before the vicious beating of Amanda, Runyon had actually consulted an attorney to obtain legal visitation rights with Amanda through the courts.  I want to make my opinion VERY clear – despite the distance between father and daughter, the overwhelming love they share for each other is glaringly obvious.  I have nothing but respect for Runyon for the way he handled this devastating moment with the class and tact which he has.

Amanda and Eddie Runyon

Amanda and Eddie Runyon

Runyon only stepped away from Amanda’s bedside for a moment and spoke out to the press regarding the attack on Amanda, and thanking the public for all the prayers and good wishes.  “I’m her father.  It is my job to protect her.  I couldn’t and it hurt me bad” he said with a pained expression on his face.  “Two year olds should be watching Sesame Street and playing with baby dolls and playing house, trying to read books, color and she shouldn’t be in a bed right now hooked to 14 different machines,” he further stated.  “It is the most helpless feeling to see your two year old daughter lying in a hospital bed helpless from a very preventable situation,”. Runyon added, “I’ve done my very best to have an active part in my daughter’s life, and I want to make it clear that just because I live and work out of state doesn’t mean that I don’t have a good relationship with her.”

Amanda Runyon

Amanda Runyon

Runyon declined to say anything about his relationship with the child’s mother or about her boyfriend. “It’s the police and the lawyers job to deal with him…it’s not my concern. I trust them; it is in their hands,” was all he would state.  Runyon last saw Amanda on January 25, 2010.  He described her as a happy child who knew people loved her.  “She didn’t act up. Kids go through their ‘terrible twos,’ but she really never did.” he said.  The public responded strongly to Amanda’s case, and at one point Cardinal Glennon stopped accepting presents for Amanda. “Her room is full,” said Bob Davidson, hospital spokesman.  “She needs her dad here and I’m going to be here,” said Runyon.

Amanda and Eddie Runyon

Amanda and Eddie Runyon

Before leaving the hospital Eddie told reporters, “I just want the daughter I had before this, 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, 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 stated.  When asked if he was angry at the man 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 Runyon In The Hospital

Amanda Runyon In The Hospital

At the very core of this incident is a shocking story revolving around the actions, or rather lack thereof, of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.  It has become very apparent that someone dropped the ball and did not help Amanda in the weeks before her brutal beating.  The controversy emerging is over a visit to Amanda’s home by Illinois‘ Department of Children and Family Services ten days before she was attacked. Upon that visit, DCFS observed the little girl had a broken leg, and there was evidence of a previously broken arm as well.  The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department stated they never received a report of the incident and were unaware of the abuse.  DCFS spokesperson Kendall Marlowe stated the agency reported the incident to police on the morning of February 24, 2011.  With those two statements, the war of words began, each agency pointing a finger at the other.  As more information was released, it became obvious that DCFS did fail Amanda, not the local police.

Amanda Runyon with her cousin.

Amanda Runyon with her cousin.

DCFS officials stated that police were called after the visit. In response, livid Belleville Police Chief Bill Clay called a news conference saying DCFS was not telling the whole truth. Chief Bill Clay says his officers were only contacted to ask for an address for Amanda’s parents. He says they were not told of the abuse and that Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services is trying to throw his department “under the bus,” for their mistakes.  Had the police been informed of the abuse, they would have been able to intervene on behalf of Amanda before the brutal attack.

Amanda Runyon In The Hospital

Amanda Runyon In The Hospital

Even more disturbing is the knowledge that 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 Runyon’s home. He said it started when Obptande dropped Amanda off at Runyon’s and told him to take her, she could not care for her.  Obptande then showed up on Runyon’s doorstep again a few days (or weeks as stated in some articles), later demanding that he give Amanda back to her and he said no. When the Sheriff was called out, Runyon told them that Obptande 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.

Amanda Runyon

Amanda Runyon

DCFS was notified yet AGAIN by Amanda’s daycare facility in February 2010. 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 Obptande 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.”  “If DCFS would have more fully investigated this, Amanda would have never ended up with the serious injuries,” said Pam Runyon. “I also don’t think they should purge the unfounded reports. If they would have known the patterns, someone may have been looking harder.”

Amanda Runyon with her cousin.

Amanda Runyon with her cousin.

After the attack on Amanda, Obptande was taken into custody, but ultimately was never charged with anything.  She was even granted a 4 hour supervised visit every other weekend with the daughter she failed to protect so miserably.  Personally, I think she is just as guilty as Monroe.  If one of my boys stubs their toe they are quick to let me know – with the injuries Amanda sustained, it would be impossible for an adult, or child for that matter, not to notice.  On April 16th Obptande filed for temporary custody of Amanda 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.  Obptande also lost custody of her other children but never bothered trying to gain custody of them back.

Amanda Runyon

Amanda Runyon

Kraig Monroe was arrested and charged with aggravated assault against a child. During his bond hearing the judge set his bond at $500,000. When it was determined that Amanda was going to live his bond was reduced to $300,000 and his family bailed him out. His only condition was to wear an ankle monitor.  Kraig Monroe insists that he is innocent and his family is standing by him.  The other side of the family sees things differently. “The only reason he was released is 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.

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.

Amanda Runyon with her cousin

Amanda Runyon with her cousin

Eddie Runyon and Amanda recently moved back to Marissa. Runyon works at the nearby Prairie State Energy Campus. A family friend and Pam Runyon help out with babysitting. Amanda has play dates with her favorite playmates, cousins Paige Watson, 7, and Will Watson, 4.  Amanda is healthy, though she experiences pain before a bowel movement and must take vitamin supplements to allow her body to absorb certain nutrients. She still has occasional nightmares.

Amanda Runyon

Amanda Runyon

As Monroe’s criminal trial neared, the defense stated that they were short some of Amanda’s medical records, hoping to have the trial pushed back. Earlier in the case, the defense claimed to have to start over with their expert (due to a death in the family) and did not have the medical records. The trial was delayed numerous times before the courts put their foot down and essentially told the defense that it was going to trial, and if they weren’t ready – too bad.

Kraig Munroe was sentenced to 11 years in prison, after changing his plea to guilty, removing the need for a trial.  I can’t see the justice in this sentence.  He could have been potentially sentenced to 30 years in prison, and even that would not have been enough to bring justice for Amanda.  I once again will say, I believe these monsters that abuse children, should be sentenced to face the exact same thing they did to their victims.  We are a civilized judicial system, but the people being tried in this system are monsters, and they hardly deserve the mercy they are shown.  Everyone knows the old saying, treat others as you want to be treated, I say we take this to heart – and begin to extract justice for not just Amanda, but every child out there who has been a victim of abuse.

Amanda Runyon at 5 Years Old

Amanda Runyon at 5 Years Old

While Amanda’s physical wounds will heal, and the scars will fade, psychologically this little girl has been stripped of her innocence and carefree view of the world.  She remains slightly shy, and tends to be a little afraid of men, especially men with beards.  When one reporter went to Runyon’s home for an interview, Amanda began to come out of her shell a little.  Out of nowhere, she told the female reporter “I don’t like the bad man”.  That statement speaks volumes to the continued trauma Amanda is sorting through.  Just because we cannot see those wounds, does not mean they are not there.  Kraig Monroe needs to be held accountable for not only the vicious beating to Amanda’s body, but also for the equally vicious beating to Amanda’s soul.  Amanda’s family has rallied around the little girl, helping to give her a normal life, a life as normal as possible on the heels of this tragedy.

Please do not forget Amanda.  No justice has even begun to be served for the beautiful little girl.  Keep your voices strong and loud – let others know, the more of us whom stand united and demand that someone answers for the crimes committed against Amanda, the better chance we have to be heard.

CCA0035

CCA SLOGAN GRAPHIC

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~ by LTWH on January 27, 2012.

One Response to “AMANDA RUNYON, BRUTALLY BEAT BY HER MOTHER’S BOYFRIEND, KRAIG MUNROE, PLACED IN MEDICALLY INDUCED COMA – CCA0035 – UPDATED 08.07.2013”

  1. Obptande also lost custody of her other children but never bothered trying to gain custody of them back.

    ^^What the fu*k is wrong with this mother. ^^ She needs to be fixed and hopefully she never has kids again.

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