Tiffany Klapheke – despite being divorced – plans on keeping her last name.
Klapheke, 23, said she loves her two surviving daughters and hopes that retaining the last name of ex-husband Thomas will help her two girls find and contact her after they turn 18.
She spoke with KTXS from jail on Friday, two days after a jury found her guilty of injury to a child by omission and one day after jurors sentenced her to 30 years in prison.
Klapheke was accused of failing to provide adequate food, water and medical attention to her and ex-husband Thomas's 22-month-old daughter Tamryn before the toddler died on Aug. 28, 2012. Tamryn’s two young siblings were also found in deteriorating conditions but ultimately survived.
Thinking it was for the best, Klapheke signed over her rights to her surviving daughters to Kathy Boorman, Tamryn’s paternal grandmother. The two siblings live in Tennessee with Boorman and under the same roof as ex-husband Thomas.
Meanwhile, in the interview that she didn’t want to do on camera, Klapheke said she would like to help “all the other Tiffany Klaphekes out there” while she is in prison.
Klapheke said other families are struggling with the same issues, meaning those who need therapy and someone on their side who isn’t intimidating like state and other social workers.
Although testimony said she was made aware of help she could have gotten, Klapheke said she didn’t believe that was accurate because she didn’t believe help was available.
Klapheke said she hopes the government will be able to provide more mental health services for people like her.