- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (AP) - The parents of 4-month-old twin girls and two other children are being held on $1 million bond after one of the twins died and authorities found the others malnourished and with marks on their bodies.

Jacob and Amanda Triplett each have been charged with first-degree murder and two counts of child abuse and one count of reckless or intentional child abuse resulting in bodily injury.

Amanda Triplett appeared for her preliminary hearing at Rock Springs Circuit Court on Tuesday. Her husband waived his preliminary hearing hours before his scheduled appearance.

Circuit Court Judge Craig Jones sent Amanda Triplett’s case to trial in Sweetwater County District Court, the Rock Springs Rocket-Miner reported Wednesday (https://tinyurl.com/oa3b6y3 ).

Rock Springs Police Department Detective Paul Schoenfeld said during her hearing that police were called to the Triplett home Sept. 15.

“Jacob called and advised that one of his daughters was not breathing right and was cold to the touch,” Schoenfeld said.

Amanda Triplett told the detective that she woke up from a nap and found her daughter “not breathing right.” She said she woke up her husband, who tried to revive the infant.

Doctors determined the baby had broken ribs and was malnourished and brain-dead. She was pronounced dead Sept. 17 at a hospital in Salt Lake City, Schoenfeld said.

The Wyoming Department of Family Services made a subsequent welfare check and found the other twin was malnourished and had broken ribs. Two other children, a 2-year-old and 4-year-old boy, were also malnourished, with signs of abuse on their heads and marks on their arms.

Authorities said the 2-year-old was only as large as an average 9-month-old, and the 4-year-old was the size of an average 2 ½-year-old.

Schoenfeld said the home was a mess.

“There were garbage bags full of garbage, whiskey bottles; it was just all over the house,” he said.

The twins were born premature May 7 and released from the hospital May 27 after staff members gave Amanda Triplett information on how to properly care and feed the underweight infants, Schoenfeld said.

She told police she discontinued the hospital’s recommended baby formula brand because the twins spit it up and she couldn’t afford it, the detective said.

She switched to a cheaper formula, Schoenfeld said.

Defense attorney Rob Oldham asked the detective if the substitute formula had a warning label on it regarding premature babies. Schoenfeld said there was no label.

Oldham asked about resources the family had available to them and their attempt to get them.

“We found forms from the Wyoming Department of Health,” Schoenfeld said. “All children were eligible for medical care.”

The detective said the amount of food found in the house “seemed pretty limited to me” for a family of six.

The surviving children are in custody and the surviving twin is gaining weight, authorities said.


Information from: Rock Springs (Wyo.) Rocket-Miner, https://www.rocketminer.com

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