Trooper awarded for work in
Child Abuse case
A Missouri Highway Patrol trooper has been named Missouri State Employee of the Month for March because of her work on a child abuse investigation in Cole County.
Trooper Ashley Klempke’s investigation led to criminal charges against two parents and the children in their care being placed in protective custody.
Klempke, a road trooper with the Patrol’s Troop F based in Jefferson City, was eligible for the statewide honor because of her selection as Department of Public Safety Employee of the Month for February.
In October 2018, Klempke responded to a report of two young girls walking along a highway in Cole County. The girls were dressed only in pajamas and had no shoes.
“While other agencies were focused on returning the children to their parents and hesitant to investigate their allegations of long-term abuse, Klempke insisted on conducting a thorough investigation, including medical evaluations,” patrol officials said in a news release.
The medical evaluations supported the girls’ claims of severe abuse, as did forensic interviews, and a search warrant executed at their residence. As a result of Klempke’s effort, a total of six children were placed in protective custody and both parents were criminally charged.
Klempke’s work in this investigation included conducting 16 interviews and execution of multiple search warrants.
“From the very start, Trooper Klempke approached this not just as two children who had wandered away from home, but as a matter that needed to be fully investigated,” Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten said in a news release. “Trooper Klempke handled this case with perseverance, dedication and compassion, and her efforts made a difference.”
Klempke was appointed to the patrol July 1, 2011, as a member of the 94th Recruit Class. She currently works in Cole County. A native of Los Angeles, she worked as a corrections officer for the Missouri Department of Corrections prior to joining the patrol. Klempke and her husband, Brandon, have five children.