Two charged with first-degree murder in Cedar Rapids toddler's death

Amy Parmer (left) and Zyriah Schlitter are each charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment in the death of
Amy Parmer (left) and Zyriah Schlitter are each charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment in the death of 19-month-old Kamryn Schlitter in March 2010.

UPDATE: Two people have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a Cedar Rapids toddler more than a year ago.

Amy Parmer, 27, of Hiawatha, and Zyriah Schlitter, 24, of Cedar Rapids, were arrested Tuesday morning in connection with the death of 18-month-old Kamryn Schlitter in March 2010. Both are also charged with child endangerment resulting in death, authorities said.

Schlitter was Kamryn's father, and Parmer is his ex-girlfriend.

Hiawatha police and agents with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation executed the arrest warrants. Parmer and Schlitter were taken to the Linn County Jail, where they are both being held on $1 million cash bond.

Kamryn died March 28, 2010 at an Iowa City hospital, one week after medics found her suffering from seizure-like symptoms inside an apartment at 245 Clymer Rd. in Hiawatha. According to her death certificate, she died from “non-accidental (inflicted) trauma” to the head.

Parmer and Zyriah Schlitter were named in a wrongful death civil lawsuit in March. Kamryn's mother, Nicole King, accused them of "beating and abuse" that led to Kamryn's death.

At the time, Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden described the year-long case as "active and ongoing."

“Obviously this is a very grave and serious matter, involving the death of a young child,” Vander Sanden said then. “It’s a matter that our office takes seriously, and we are working together with the (Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation) and the Hiawatha Police Department in an effort to resolve this case.”

Local daycare Apple Kids, Inc., owner Kendran Imhoff and former owner Lisa Burkle are also named as defendants in the civil lawsuit. The lawsuit accuses the daycare of failing to report a bruise on Kamryn to the Iowa Department of Human Services.

According to civil lawsuit, Kamryn normally lived with King, but she was temporarily in the custody of Schlitter and Parmer in the weeks leading up to her death. During the same time, she attended Apple Kids daycare.

Prior to Kamryn’s death, a daycare employee allegedly noticed a bruise on Kamryn that had been covered up by make-up, according to the lawsuit. King accuses the employee of photographing the bruise, but failing to report it to DHS.

About one week later, daycare employees found more bruising on Kamryn and did make a report to DHS, the lawsuit claims. DHS began an investigation, but Kamryn died before any action was taken, according to the lawsuit.

“The wrongful actions, errors and omissions of all defendants were a proximate result of Kamryn Schlitter’s death and the injuries and damage suffered by the plaintiff,” the lawsuit reads.Initial appearances for Parmer and Schlitter will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday via video from jail in Linn County District Court.

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