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East Troy police officers detail scene at twins' drowning in testimony

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Kevin Hoffman
October 22, 2011
— The first thing East Troy police officer Lucas Twelmeyer saw after responding to the home where two infants were found dead in a running bathtub was a frantic man pleading for help.

Derrick Ivory was “crying and hysterical” as he directed Twelmeyer inside the apartment.


“He said, ‘They’re inside, go save them,’” Twelmeyer told the court.


The children’s mother, Melody Butt, 26, was in court for the second time since her arrest earlier this month. Judge John Race determined after a 20-minute preliminary hearing there was probable cause to charge Butt with two felony counts of child neglect after her twin infants drowned Sept. 22 in the bathtub of her East Troy apartment.


Butt didn’t speak but sobbed loudly as East Troy police officers Twelmeyer and Aaron Hackett recounted their findings at the apartment. Twelmeyer was the first to arrive, and he found Ivory, Butt’s roommate, outside waiting for him.


Twelmeyer said Butt was sitting on the stairs outside of her apartment. Her face was buried in her hands, and she appeared upset.


Twelmeyer found the 11-month-old twins, a boy and a girl, lying on the floor of the living room. Neither was responding, and they were transferred to the hospital where they were pronounced dead.


According to the criminal complaint, Butt began filling a bath and put one of the twins in the water. She then went to her bedroom and fell asleep.


When she awoke, Ivory came home and was asking why the bath was running. He then discovered both twins in the tub.


Hackett said Butt admitted putting one of the twins in the tub, but she believed another girl living in the apartment, age 2, lifted the other child into the bath.


Testimony revealed at least one of the children was left unattended in the bath for about 40 minutes.


Police previously said seven people lived in the apartment, including Butt’s boyfriend, Christopher Evans, and a 6-year-old girl. Evans, who was at work during the incident, faces a misdemeanor charge of child neglect.


That charge likely stems from the condition of the apartment. Police said they found bottles with curdled milk and used diapers and food scattered around the apartment.


Hackett arrived separately from Twelmeyer as an ambulance was taking the children away. He said he found a “substantial amount of debris” floating in the tub when he arrived, including books, paper and plastic.


The defense did not call any witnesses during Friday’s hearing. Butt’s arraignment is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 28.



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