A mother in Palisade, Colorado has admitted to leaving her two toddler sons alone in her SUV with the engine running for nearly 90 minutes on Tuesday before they were both found unconscious and one dead.
According to The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel which obtained investigative records, Heather Jensen, the 24-year-old mom, visited a “male friend” Tuesday afternoon near the Powderhorn Mountain Resort. According to the police affidavit, Jensen let her 2-year-old, William, and her 4-year-old, Tyler, play in the snow before she put them in the car and started the engine. Once the kids were loaded into the car, Jensen says she got “into the man’s truck.”
About an hour and a half later when Jensen returned to her car and drove off, she immediately noticed her son Tyler making gurgling noises, according to the affidavit the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel obtained. She pulled over and discovered her son William was not breathing so she called 911.
William was pronounced dead at the scene and Tyler was rushed to a nearby hospital. Tyler was later transfered to Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver where he was reportedly still in critical condition on Wednesday, The Denver Post reports.
On Thursday, doctors told Robert Mathena, Tyler’s step-grandfather, that Tyler has severe organ damage and due to the general weakness the boy is currently suffering from he cannot undergo organ transplant surgery. The grandparents of Tyler were planning to get ready to fight for custody of the boy, but tragically there may not be a custody battle because doctors told the family 4-year-old Tyler has a “slim chance” of surviving, KKCO reports.
The children’s father, Eric Jensen, died in a car accident just last month.
It’s still unclear what caused both boys to fall ill and ultimately what led to the death of William, but emergency workers speculate that they were poisoned by carbon monoxide, according to KDVR. Authorities were investigating the SUV’s exhaust system, looking for any presence of carbon monoxide as of Wednesday.
Authorities said in the affidavit that there was “probable cause” to believe that child abuse resulting in death had occurred, but were still in the process of investigation.
9News reports that although the coroner has completed the autopsy, they are not releasing the findings because the investigation is still on-going.