GLENWOOD SPRINGS (AP) — Prosecutors in Colorado charged a mother in the death of her 5-year-old daughter after authorities said the girl died of methamphetamine intoxication from drinking water mixed with the drug.
Stephanie Alvarado was arrested in late January in Garfield County and initially charged with suspicion of child abuse resulting in death, possession of a controlled substance and reckless endangerment in the death of Sophia Larson, authorities said.
The charges were upgraded Wednesday to include murder, prosecutors said. Further details on five additional charges including burglary and criminal trespass were not immediately available.
Alvarado made her first court appearance Wednesday in handcuffs after she was arrested earlier in the day on suspicion of assaulting the child’s father, police said.
Alvarado was in her apartment with her cousins, who were also arrested, on Dec. 10 when the child drank from a bottle believed to have been used as a methamphetamine water pipe and later stopped breathing, prosecutors said.
Alvarado told police she feared she might lose custody of her daughter if she took her to a hospital, court documents said.
Alvarado’s lawyer Frank Moya declined to comment on the allegations against her.
District Attorney Jeff Cheney said prosecutors would not seek the death penalty against Alvarado if she is convicted.