Alaska mother charged with killing infant daughters in separate incidents years apart

An Alaska mother has been charged with killing both of her daughters in separate incidents two years apart.

Stephany LaFountain was indicted on charges of first and second-degree murder in the deaths of her 4-month-old child in September 2015 and her 13-month-old in November 2017, according to a Fairbanks Police Department press release.

“We have family and baby that suffered in obscurity, in silence,” Chief Eric Jeweks said during a press conference Friday. “They shouldered the grieving process alone and hopefully we’ll be able to bring some closure to them.”

(Stephany LaFountain via Fairbanks Police Department)

Fort Wainwright police said the 23-year-old mother phoned 911 and told dispatchers her daughter was not breathing around 6:20 p.m. the night of Nov. 20, 2017. Her husband had been deployed at the time, but his family made it to the scene and administered CPR.

The infant was taken to Fairbanks Medical Hospital, where she was pronounced dead four days later.

The tragedy prompted authorities to circle back to a prior 2015 incident also involving LaFountain. That fall, the Alaska mother reported her 4-month-old daughter — from a different relationship — had similarly suddenly stopped breathing. The little girl was taken to the hospital and died an hour later.

While neither incident initially appeared to be a homicide, the similarities between them made circumstances of both deaths suspicious, Fairbanks police spokeswoman Yumi McCulloch told KTVA.

Amid their investigation into the death of LaFountain’s second child, forensic teams uncovered a series of suspicious search entries logged on the mother’s computer just an hour before she called 911. Some of her queries included “ways to kill human with no proof,” “drowning and forensics” and “How to: Commit the Perfect Murder.”

The medical examiner’s officer determined both children’s cause of death to be consistent with strangulation.

She was arraigned Friday via closed circuit TV from Fairbanks Correctional Center and her bond was set at $2 million.