Colo. Girl, 5, Dies of Heart Attack After Drinking 'Meth Bong Water,' as Mom, Cousins Are Charged
Colorado Police have arrested three people in connection with the death of a 5-year-old girl who drank water from a bong containing methamphetamine.
Sophia Larson died on December 11 while she was staying with her mother, Stephanie Alvarado.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by CBS News and other outlets, Sophia drank “meth bong water” from a plastic water bottle that had been left out on a table. After she said “yucky” and spat out some water, the mom and her two cousins allegedly realized it was a bottle they had used as a water pipe when smoking methamphetamine earlier, the affidavit states.
Witnesses told police that Sophia began seeing “monsters and demons” after ingesting the water, but Alvarado allegedly did not take Sophia to the hospital right away. According to the witnesses, Alvarado allegedly did not seek treatment because she did not want to “lose [Sophia] in the system.”
The affidavit, which was also obtained by the The Denver Post, alleges that Alvarado treated Sophia by giving her milk, wrapping her up in a blanket, praying and reading the Bible. She later allegedly took Sophia to a nearby apartment to give her oxygen through a tube.
When Sophia finally stopped breathing, Alvarado and her cousins took her to Grand River Hospital in Rifle, Colorado. She was pronounced dead early the next morning.
According to the affidavit, the Garfield County Coroner said the cause of death was methamphetamine intoxication. A toxicology report found that Sophia had a “very, very high” amount of methamphetamine in her blood.
Authorities have arrested Alvarado, 26, as well as two of her cousins: Bertha Karina Ceballos-Romo, 28, and Daniel Alvarado, 27. PEOPLE confirms that all three of them face charges of child abuse resulting in death, possession of a controlled substance and reckless endangerment.
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
The affidavit alleges police found baggies filled with white powder, drug residue on a dollar bill, pipes, and bongs during their search of the apartment. Alvarado allegedly told police that she had recently been fired from her job after failing a drug test and that she smoked meth on her way to pick up Sophia.
Sophia’s father, Alec Larson, told CBS he received a call that his daughter was in the hospital, but by the time he arrived, she was already dead.
“Sophia had passed away from cardiac arrest,” Larson told the station. “It just didn’t make any sense to me; she was too healthy to have a heart attack.”
The three defendants have been released on bond and have not yet entered a plea. Online court records do not reflect attorneys authorized to speak on their behalf.