Mother accused in 3-year-old's death

Relates to:
Date: 2010-04-01
Source: The Gazette

April 01, 2010 6:29 PM
JOEL MILLMAN
THE GAZETTE
A 39-year-old Peyton woman is accused of second-degree murder in the death of her 3-year-old son, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said today.

The boy's mother, Michelle Dosdall, is expected to turn herself in Friday and would be held on $50,000 bond, sheirff's spkeswoman Lt. Lari Sevene said.

Tristan Dosdall was taken to a local hospital in critical condition on March 24 after deputies were called to the family's home at 21150 Cheryl Grove, Sevene said. He was unconscious and was having trouble breathing when deputies arrived, she said.

Doctors determined the boy was brain dead on Monday and he died Wednesday after being taken off life support. An autopsy determined he had suffered a blow to the head.

The death is the first homicide this year in unincorporated El Paso County.

Theresa Strader, director of the local chapter of the National Mill Dog Rescue, said Dosdall has been a volunteer with the group for about a year and a half. The group rescues dogs from puppy mills around the country and cares for them while trying to find homes for them.

Strader said Dosdall often brought Tristan, who was adopted, and his 5-year-old brother to the group's Peyton kennel near her home to help with the dogs.

"We're a big group, about 500 volunteers, and the way we see this is we're one enormous family," Strader said minutes after hearing that Dosdall had been accused of killing Tristan. "And I can tell you that all of us who come out to that kennel are going to be devastated. We don't put dogs ahead of children."

Strader said she was shocked at what Dosdall is accused of doing.

"The Michelle I know is caring, passionate about animals," Strader said.

Strader, a pediatric nurse with three adopted children who had been abused, said if she'd seen any sign that Tristan was being abused she would have reported it immediately.

A woman who answered the door at the Dosdalls’ home Thursday evening did not identify herself, said, "Go away," and slammed the door shut.

Sevene said county social services has custody of Dosdall's 5-year-old son.

Gazette writer Carlyn Ray Mitchell contributed to this report.

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