Monona toddler fighting for life, suspect still on the loose - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Monona toddler fighting for life, suspect still on the loose

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Family members say 18-month-old Myah is now off life support, blind and has only brain stem activity Family members say 18-month-old Myah is now off life support, blind and has only brain stem activity
MONONA (KWWL) -

The search continues for a man accused of severely injuring an eastern Iowa toddler.

Local and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation officials are looking for Troy Laufenberg, 21, of Monona. He is wanted for child endangerment and several drug-related charges.

Officials believe he may be in the Dubuque area and asks anybody who has seen him to call police. Officials don't believe him to be dangerous, but discourage so-called vigilante justice.

Monona officials responded to a second-floor apartment in the 100 block of East Center Street on July 15 on a report of an injured child. There, they found 18-month-old Myah Larson unconscious.

"It was not easy to deal with afterwards," Monona Police Chief Jane Scott-Quandahl said, adding this is one of the most difficult cases she's faced in her 24 years in law enforcement.

"On everything that we do that's involving a child, it's, 'You do your job,' and then it affects you later," Scott-Quandahl said.

Myah is currently at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. Her great-aunt Laurie McCracken said Myah is now off life support, blind and has only brain stem activity.

Scott-Quandahl said Laufenberg lived in the apartment with Myah, her mother -- who was his girlfriend -- and a baby the couple had together.

Scott-Quandahl said her message for Laufenberg is to turn himself in.

"Come forward," she said. "Let's hear your side of the story. I mean, we're hearing one side of the story. Come forward and let's hear your side of the story.

"Do it for Myah," she added.

Laufenberg has family and friends in Dubuque. Officials believe he may be in the area.

Anybody with information on his whereabouts can call the Dubuque Police Department at 563-589-5510 or DCI agent Mike Krapfl at 563-599-4239.

There is now a fund for Myah and her family's out-of-pocket expenses. Anyone wishing to donate can write a check out to the Myah Larson Fund and send it to Farmers and Merchants Bank, P.O. Box 9, Waukon, Iowa, 52172.

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