2-year-old dies, brother in critical condition after mother left them alone in SUV

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. -- A 2-year-old boy died and his 4-year-old brother was in critical condition after their mother admitted to leaving them inside an SUV for 90 minutes with its engine running.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports an affidavit written by a Mesa County Sheriff's office investigator shows she left her boys while she met a man near the Powderhorn Mountain Resort east of Grand Junction Tuesday night.

Heather Jensen, 24, called 911 saying her youngest son was unconscious and not breathing. William Jensen was pronounced dead at the scene.

His brother, Tyler, is in critical condition at Children's Hospital in Aurora. The boys' step-grandfather, Robert Mathena, says Tyler is improving.

"He's starting to respond a little bit, he's opening his eyes, looking around. I guess he has some kind of liver damage, too," Mathena says. He believes the boys had carbon monoxide poisoning.

The boys' mother told Mesa County Sheriff's Office investigators she was sitting in the man's truck next to her SUV.

She had let the boys play in the snow before putting them back in their car seats in her Toyota 4Runner.

She says she drove away and heard her 4-year-old gurgling. That's when she stopped and realized the 2-year-old wasn't breathing and she called 911.

The cause of William Jensen's death has not been released. There have been no charges filed in the case so far.

The Sentinel reports this investigation comes just after the death of Heather Jensen's husband, Eric. He was killed in a two-car crash on Oct. 10 in Garfield County.