Saturday, January 23, 2010

Judge seals records in case where dad was at bar, baby died alone at home (Denver, Colorado)

It could be months before the public finds out how and why this 5-month-old baby died. It is currently assumed that he died sometime after he was abandoned at home by his "caretaker" dad, JOSEPH TRUJILLO. Apparently, Daddy decided that baby minding wasn't for him, so he went to the bar for "up to seven hours." Mom is in the military, stationed at Fort Riley in Kansas.

Details about 5-month-old's death sealed
By Howard Pankratz
The Denver Post
Posted: 01/23/2010 01:00:00 AM MST
Updated: 01/23/2010 01:55:45 AM MST

Circumstances surrounding the death of a 5-month-old boy were clouded in mystery Friday after a judge sealed an arrest affidavit for the boy's father and the coroner said it would be months before the child's autopsy results are released.

On Thursday, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office arrested Joseph Trujillo, 23, alleging that his 5-month-old son died while Trujillo spent up to seven hours at a local bar drinking.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the child's grandmother called 911 about 12:30 a.m. Thursday and told dispatchers her son Joseph was holding the baby and crying.

The grandmother, who lived at the condominium apartment in the 16000 block of West 10th Avenue in unincorporated Jefferson County with Trujillo and the child, called 911 after waking up and hearing her son crying.

Jefferson County coroner Katherine Loughrey-Stemp said an autopsy was performed Friday on the infant. But Loughrey- Stemp said the autopsy report will not be made public for several months until toxicology reports are completed.

She said she will share preliminary findings with the Sheriff's Office, but those will not be made public.

Calls to authorities seeking additional information about the investigation were not returned Friday.

Pam Russell, spokeswoman for the Jefferson County district attorney's office, stressed Friday that Trujillo has not been charged with a crime and that the Sheriff's Office has yet to present a case to the DA for consideration.

Russell said Scott Storey, the Jefferson County DA, will review the case to decide whether to file charges.

Trujillo appeared in Jefferson County Court on Friday and was advised that he was being held for investigation of murder. He will return to court Thursday for his second advisement.

According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Trujillo was arrested in Kansas on March 1, 2009, for misdemeanor driving under the influence near Junction City, Kan.

Court records indicate he was sentenced to 12 months in jail. But the sentence was suspended, and he was placed on probation.

Colorado computerized arrest and court records show Trujillo's only prior arrest in Colorado was for failing to appear in court on a traffic charge.

Calls to the Army at Fort Riley, Kan., concerning Trujillo and the boy's mother, who is in the Army, were not returned.

Authorities said that the grandmother is not a suspect in the case. She works afternoons and nights and returned home before Trujillo. She went to bed believing that Trujillo had left the home and took the child with him.

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