The dad is BRIAN DALE DYKSTRA. The boy was in the "sole care and custody" of his father at the time of his murder. The boy's fatal brain injuries sound like abusive head trauma.
Iowa City father accused in toddler’s death to be tried next week
Posted October 21, 2011 4:16 pm by Vanessa Miller/SourceMedia Group News
More than six years after a 21-month-old Johnson County boy died with severe brain injuries, his adoptive father next week will be tried on suspicion of delivering the fatal blows.
After a three-year investigation, Brian Dale Dykstra, 35, was arrested in August 2008 and charged with second-degree murder in the Aug. 14, 2005 death of his toddler son, Isaac Jonathan Dykstra.
The trial, which will start with jury selection Monday morning, is expected to last about a week and a half, said Assistant Johnson County Attorney Anne Lahey, the lead prosecutor on the case.
Prosecutors could call as many as 39 witnesses, according to trial information, and many of those witnesses are expected to offer medical-type testimony.
Isaac Dykstra was born Nov. 18, 2003, in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, and he was adopted by Brian and Lisa Dykstra, of Iowa City, just months before his death, according to police.
Officers were dispatched to the Dykstra residence on Aug. 13, 2005 after receiving an abandoned 911 call from the home. When a dispatcher called back, Dykstra said his son might have been having seizure and difficulty breathing.
Dykstra also told the dispatcher that the problem might be related to a head injury, according to police. When emergency crews arrived, they found the child unconscious on the living room floor, laboring to breathe, with apparent head injuries and bruising.
Isaac was taken by ambulance to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where doctors determined he was suffering life-threatening injuries, including massive brain swelling, severe bleeding inside his skull and retinal swelling in both eyes.
He also had severe bruising on his body, including his torso and legs. Doctors said the injuries had occurred that day and were “inconsistent” with Dykstra’s explanations.
Investigators also said they found Dykstra’s story “suspicious, incomplete and inconsistent.”
Isaac was pronounced brain-dead the following day, and Iowa City police, with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, launched a suspicious death investigation. They believe Isaac died from head trauma that was inflicted while he was in the sole custody and care of his father.
Dykstra, who moved to South Carolina after the child’s death, posted a $15,000 bond after his arrest and returned to South Carolina, where he has been living.