Dallas County Toddler Found in Water-Filled Ditch has Died

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EARLHAM, Iowa - A two-year-old found face down in a ditch filled with water in Dallas County has died.

Emergency crews responded to a home along Houston Trail, north of Earlham, late Wednesday morning after receiving a report of a missing child.

According to the Iowa State Patrol, the toddler disappeared as she played in her yard while a daycare provider was working nearby. The toddler was found 30 minutes later in a ditch about 100-yards from the home.

A trooper performed CPR on the girl when they arrived on the scene.

The girl was transported to a Des Moines hospital via helicopter, where she was pronounced dead. She has been identified as Deja Ramynke.

An autopsy is due to be performed to determine the cause of death.


  • Rebecca Hergert

    Yes! I hope she is okay!!
    Don’t leave your kids/grand-kids alone, no-matter what age.
    It’s summer time & strangers come to small area towns lurking.
    If I know you got kids & your running around at the post office, jogging, then I’m gonna wonder where your kids are at.

      • Jeff weesner

        Also if the child was gone for a half hour how long did it take the Dallas county police dept to show up let alone the Earlham fire dept and emts. I’ve noticed the emts and the fire dept are and have been about a half hour quicker on emergencies than our own police force also was the Earlham dp notified and did they even show up.

    • Ginger

      The article said a Day Care worker was near by. That scares me because why didnt that worker see her toddle off or God forbid someone take her!

  • Jeff weesner

    I was born and bred around this rural area. When we were growin up we’d always be out exploring, and gettin grubby. Didn’t matter if our parents were out there or not it takes two seconds to look out the window and see what your children are doing. I know after being on this earth for 36 yrs things have changed people come and go. It seems when I drive down the roads everywhere there building new houses and old farms are getting destroyed. It’s understandable even for the growth of America. But my parents always new where we were I’ve got four children and they can play outside in the yard even if I’m inside. I always know where there at. That’s what a parent is supposed to do watch out and take care of there kiddos. This reminds me of the Facebook story of the lil child left in the car while the mother was pre occupied and went in to shop. What was so important that the person watching the child couldn’t see her leave the yard or even relize that she was gone for around a half hour. Then on top of it all if ya really looked for the child how could ya not see them laying in a ditch 100 yards away. I know this area very well it’s woods and farm lands with a couple pastures tucked in among it. This is not the city of desmoines where ya have houses on top of houses it may be your neighbor a mile down the road. But we all new the neighborhood which was not a block or two but stretched anywhere form 50 feet all the way up to and exceeding 7miles. Are these people from the city trying to make a better life for them and their children away from the corruption. I can understand that but a child found a hundred yard s away from home in the ditch unresponsive a hundred yards is a foot ball field from one goal line to the other is a hundred yards.
    I am outraged by the shear stupidity of Americans now a days. I hope the child is alright and I am praying for her to be but the parents need to be taught a lesson. If ya can’t afford, nurture, and disaplin, or pay attention to what and where your children are at maybe they don’t deserve them. I’m sorry I understand at the age of two everything’s new and exciting and there curios but come on get your head outta your keister.

    • BrutallyHonest

      So, as you are inside “watching” your kids play outside, are you constantly watching or do you every take your eyes off them for just a minute? Thats all it takes, there one minute, gone the next. Then, when they are gone, you go into an immediate state of pannic. Now you dont know where to look EVEN IF they are 100 yards away. You are now in a very frantic state of mind looking everywhere. YES we do need to keep an eye on our children, a very close one. But for all of you to judge this person like you are a perfect parent is rediculous. There is not a single one of us parents that are perfect and we have all made mistakes along the way.

      • Jeff weesner

        Know brutally honest I’ve had a phone call from my wife where our child was lost at a dept store. N yes I get the panic and the nervousness of the situation. And yes I take my peepers of my children but when there that young you can’t leave them for a very long. But you need to have a talk with your child like I have done and my parents and other parents have done and not neglect telling of the different possibilities and circumstances that things can go south. What it’s just playing in the yard, then I guy or gal says I lost my dog can you help me find it. Common fricken sense right, no it’s not common sense for the children. You have to teach them so they know what common sense is. Two of my kids had no problem grasping the idea of how important it is for their parents to know where they are. The other two had a lil harder time getting this so I found I had to be brutally honest with them and tell them exactly what could happen to them one got it pretty good the other I had to be even more brutal and show them videos and stories of some of the situations they could face. Know I believe my children have the common sense to let me, their mother, or anyone that’s watchin them where there at and with who. Know brutally honest I’m very very far from a being a good parent let alone a perfect parent. But am I wrong by saying the child doesn’t know what’s wrong or right until they get praised or punished, if they even get that know a days. Our children learn from everything parents friends family strangers television and internet. I live in the town just south of where this happened. I’ve fished, trapped and hunted, not to mention pitched hay worked in the fields and farms all around the area this child was. If ya knew the terrain you would understand what I’m talking about. I feel sorry for the parents to a point. The child I hope gets better and they figure out why she was unresponsive. The rattlesnakes are pretty thick out around here not to mention the bees. But if the parents don’t teach the child that things can happen n some of those things could be very hazardous to your health not to mention your life. Then who’s gonna teach them that television. The internet. A book that they can’t even read yet. I pity them for not taking the time to make a spot I their life. Know to you brutally honest I pity you also for not realizing how right I am, yes these are my opinions and I have the right to type and say them. And those are your opinions and good for you but to think that a child is gonna stay in there yard or house at two years old is just plain stupidity.

  • Justice

    Jeff Weesner, since you have only lived a few short 36 yrs, that apparently has not been long enough for you to not be so judgmental. Since we are judging, I’ll bet your English teacher at Earlham is embarrassed with your spelling and grammar in your long winded post.

  • Bettianne Bune

    prayers, since I’ve just read this about this little one….Lord please intervene …I pray that she will be okay…

  • Donette Stanley

    Jeff Weesner, You apparently don’t know the area that well. I live 2 houses down from this family and understand how she could not see this child. You don’t know what or how this happened, nor do you know how long this Grandmother was looking before calling 911. Your parents apparently never taught you that if you could not say anything nice, then not to say anything at all. They are not deadbeats and only God knows why this child was taken so soon. I pray for these families to help them with their loss and pray that it never happens to you or your family.

    • Jacob

      Donnette, I live right next door. And you’re right about not knowing what happened. And since we don’t know, we shouldn’t make any judgements. No matter what the situation was, it was a terrible accident. So people at home sitting on their couch watching the news saying things you don’t understand, please realize these people are going through enough. You weren’t there, you don’t know. IF YOU CANT SAY ANYTHING NICE, DONT SAY ANYTHING AT ALL.

  • gimmieabreak

    just watch.
    at minimal child endangerment charges will be filed.
    meanwhile the farmer that just smashed and killed his 6 +/- year old daughter with an ATV while the daughter was NOT fastened via seatbelt NOR wearing helmet will go unscathed.

  • Abbie Arnburg

    Jeff…give it a break! You obviously don’t know that area or you would understand! Praying for everyone involved!

  • dd

    Jeff…I hope you are not still married to the horrible, irresponsible woman you call ” mother” of your children. She was so awful that she lost her own kid . How dare her?? She should have had the kids taken away. I hope you left her over this ordeal. Sounds absurd don’t it? Give this family a break. The grandma will live with this guilt the rest of her life. And to say you watched your kids every second and every minute. You , sir, are a liar. You had to go the bathroom at some point, or do something else that took your eyes off them even for a second. You are a very judgemental, rude, arrogant person. Karma will haunt your words some day. God bless this little soul and the entire family.

  • Peace Among Us

    It is so sad that people have to make negative comments on a tragedy like this. Thoughts and prayers to the family in this extremely difficult time in their lives.

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