An Alaska woman is behind bars after police say her second child died in a similar way her other child previously died. She’s now facing charges in connection to the deaths of both children.
Anchorage Daily News reports Stephany E. LaFountain, 23, faced indictment on Wednesday for the 2017 death of her 13-month-old daughter and the 2015 death of her 4-month-old daughter. She’s charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder.
In the most recent case, court documents indicate the suspect called 911 on November, 20, 2017, and said her toddler daughter stopped breathing. Paramedics rushed the little girl to the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. She was later airlifted and transported to the Providence Medical Center in Anchorage. She died four days later.
As Fairbanks police began investigating the toddler’s death, they reopened a 2015 case in which the suspect’s 4-month-old baby girl died. Although authorities didn’t suspect foul play during the first baby’s death, the striking similarities between how both children died prompted them to reevaluate the case.
Lafountain’s 13-month-old died from lack of oxygen to the brain which likely resulted from suffocation. Likewise, the 4-month-old showed signs of suffocation, according to Fairbanks police Chief Eric Jewkes, who provided a press update on Thursday.
Further, authorities said that after investigating the suspect’s Internet searches, they found numerous incriminating search queries, including:
- How to commit the perfect murder
- 16 steps to kill someone and not get caught
- Best ways to suffocate
- Ways to suffocate
- Can drowning show in an autopsy report
- Ways to kill human with no proof
- Suffocating and smothering
- Drowning and forensics
The investigation initially began by the Fort Wainwright Police. LaFountain was living on post with her husband, who was deployed when the latest incident occurred, and the 13-month-old. Fairbanks police took over the case as the suspect and the toddler were not military personnel. The child’s father is not considered a suspect in the case.
The 4-month-old had a different father than her older sibling. He’s also not considered a suspect at this time.
Medical records and autopsy results indicated that both children were “entirely healthy” at the times of their deaths. LaFountain doesn’t have any other children.
The suspect remains behind bars at the Fairbanks Correctional Center. She’s scheduled for her first court appearance on Friday.
The investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with any information is urged to contact Detective Avery Thompson at 907-450-6550 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Police Chief Eric Jewkes will be speaking regarding the arrest of Stephany LaFountain for the murders of her two daughters.
Posted by Fairbanks Police Department on Thursday, August 30, 2018
[Feature Photo: Stephany E. LaFountain/Police Handout]