Police Arrest Parents Of Children Killed In Del City Fire

Thursday, February 10th 2011, 7:30 pm
By: News 9


DEL CITY, Oklahoma – The parents of three children killed in an RV fire in January were taken into custody Friday morning.

Prosecutors filed charges against Stephanie and Chris Dunham this week.  They both face three felony counts of child neglect and one count each of possession of drug paraphernalia. Stephanie Dunham is also facing one count of obstructing an officer.

They are each being held in the Oklahoma County Jail on $151,000 bond.

The D.A.'s office filed those charges because investigators say Stephanie Dunham was high on methamphetamine at the time of the fire.

Christopher Dunham, 4, Crystal Dunham, 3, and Kaylee Dunham, 1, were killed in the fire on Jan. 4. Stephanie Dunham told fire inspectors the fire started when a floor heater fell over. She said she tried to put the fire out but couldn't, so she told all three children to go to the back of the motor home and "stay there and not move."

Stephanie Dunham said she left the motor home to get some water and when she returned, the fire was out of control. That's when she called the fire department. She was taken to the hospital with burns on her hands, face and arms.

Police said their investigation revealed Stephanie Dunham was not in the motor home when the fire started.  They are still trying to determine exactly what started it.

Court records show Stephanie Dunham said her husband told her to lie to investigators about what really happened the day of the fire.

Christopher Dunham told investigators both he and his wife used methamphetamine, and he also smoked marijuana. Court records also show investigators found several pipes and scales inside the torched RV that contained meth and marijuana residue.

"We had three juveniles that passed away. They kept that in focus and they worked really, really hard to do a thorough investigation," said Major Brandon Pursell with the Del City Fire Dept.

Investigators say they are continuing their investigation to determine if the parents could face additional charges.