BRIGHTON, Colo. (KDVR) – The parents of a toddler who died with 10 times the amount of fentanyl to kill an adult in her system have been indicted by a grand jury on counts of murder and drug trafficking.
In January, Brighton investigators said a little girl, 23 months old, was found dead with fentanyl in her body.
Months later her parents, Alonzo Montoya, 31, and Nicole Casias, 31, were charged with her death. On Thursday, those charges were replaced with these charges:
- First-degree murder
- Colorado Organized Crime Control Act
“[Montoya and Casias] are alleged to have participated in a drug trafficking enterprise which caused the death of this child,” 17th Judicial District Attorney Brian Mason said during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
These charges are the result of alleged conduct made by the pair between Jan. 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022.
According to the district attorney’s office, their alleged conduct included participating in a drug-trafficking enterprise before, during and after their child’s death.
They now face additional charges that include:
- First-degree murder – victim Under 12 – position of trust
- COCCA – Pattern of racketeering
- COCCA – Conspiracy
- Child abuse resulting in death
- Child abuse – Manufacture controlled substance (2 counts)
- Child abuse – Knowingly/recklessly – no injury
“There were significantly larger crimes that needed to be investigated that’s why we utilized the grand jury,” Mason said.
On Jan. 2, officers were called to 345 S. Seventh Ave. after dispatch received a call from a woman who was screaming while saying that a baby was not breathing, and had “blood all over her.“
Once first responders arrived, they tried to perform life-saving measures, but she was pronounced dead at the Platte Valley Medical Center.
Arrest documents revealed that Montoya and Casias were both seen on home surveillance cameras using fentanyl and crack cocaine with the child present the evening before she was found dead.
Police said camera footage showed the toddler was put to bed on Jan. 2 at 12:34 a.m. and she was not checked on until 1:18 p.m. the same day, more than 12 hours later.
Subsequent tests on the toddler would reveal that in addition to 10 times the amount of fentanyl that could kill an adult, cocaine, meth, marijuana, and Buprenorphine were all in the toddler’s system when she died.
In the last seven years, more than 1,500 deaths have been attributed to fentanyl in Colorado.
“It is literally killing our children,” Mason said.
Investigators said they learned of other crimes the couple is accused of committing that contributed to their daughter’s death.
“First-degree murder, child abuse resulting in death, racketeering and conspiracy,” Mason said.
Those charges were not brought upon by the district attorney’s office but by other means.
“Where a grand jury has listened to all of the evidence has two identifiable suspects that the evidence supports the filing of charges on,” Mason said.