"I guess I probably knew there was something wrong with her," Towry said. "When you're a parent it's difficult to think there's anything wrong with your child."
But it wasn't until they moved to Ponderay and put Evelyn into kindergarten at Kootenai that they got a diagnosis. Towry said she was called to the school on Evelyn's first day when her teacher said the girl began acting out in class, again making animal noises among other behaviors.
When the Towrys took the teacher's recommendation and had their daughter tested, they were shocked by the diagnosis.
"It scared me," Towry said. "I had no idea what Asperger's Syndrome was."
In Towry's mind at the time, autistic children drooled, were disconnected, didn't talk, didn't communicate. And none of that was Evelyn.
Towry said Evelyn isn't a perfect child at home. She sometimes gets into shoving matches or the like with her younger sister over sibling rivalry-type issues, but Towry said those situations are easily diffused with words and have never risen to the level of what Evelyn and police say occurred Friday at Kootenai Elementary School.
"She was not a bad kid," Towry said.