Peyton mom charged in son's death

Relates to:
Date: 2010-04-02

By Cris Ornelas

EL PASO COUNTY, COLO. -- A Peyton mom is sitting in jail facing first-degree murder charges in the death of her adopted son.

El Paso County deputies were called to the family home in Peyton on the night of March 24. Three-year-old Tristan Dosdall was not breathing. He was airlifted to the hospital where he later died.

Detectives think the boy's mom, 39-year-old Michelle Dosdall, inflicted the fatal injuries on the boy. They have charged her with murder, after the boy's autopsy showed he died of blunt-force trauma to the head.

Authorities initially planned to charge Michelle Dosdall with second-degree murder. But when she showed up to turn herself in to deputies Friday morning she learned the charge had been switched to first-degree murder.

The Dosdall family home sits in the middle of rolling, wind-swept hills just outside Peyton. A play set in the yard makes the home appear to be the picture of family tranquility.

But El Paso County deputies say the home was the scene of a violent crime.

"Any time it involves a little one it hits you," said El Paso County Sheriff’s Office inspector John San Augustine.

Detectives say 3-year-old Tristan Dosdall was airlifted from the home just a little more than a week ago with severe head injuries. Doctors told deputies Tristan’s prognosis was extremely poor and even if he survived he'd have permanent brain damage.

"(The) baby was declared brain-dead on Monday the 29th and subsequently died on Wednesday," San Augustine said.

When investigators interviewed Michelle Dosdall, she told them the boy slipped on a wet bathroom floor and hit his head.

"The doctors that were involved in the initial investigation and the autopsy that was performed revealed that this was not a typical fall," San Augustine said.

Detectives may never know everything what went on inside the home. But deputies say Tristan’s short life was a hard one.

They say he was born to a meth addict., severely neglected in foster care and murdered, all by the age of three.

"There is obviously some wrongdoing here. Based on the evidence we have blunt-force trauma and we have to take that to the next level. We have to get justice for Tristan, for this young little boy," San Augustine said.

Detectives won't say exactly what made the district attorney boost the charge to first-degree murder.

Michelle Dosdall is being held without bond in the El Paso County Jail.

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