Babysitter charged with murder in Montrose infant’s death

Maria Espinozo-Zavala

A Montrose woman arrested last week in connection with the death of an infant boy was formally charged Thursday with murder.

Maria Espinosa-Zavala, 31, was charged by the 7th Judicial District Attorney’s office with first-degree murder, and child abuse resulting in the death of 4-month-old Angel Nieto, according to Montrose court records. Espinosa-Zavala had been held on suspicion of manslaughter since her Dec. 29 arrest.

An arrest affidavit remains sealed.

Espinosa-Zavala was arrested after she was interviewed by Montrose police in connection with Nieto’s death. Police have said Espinosa-Zavala was babysitting and left to care for Nieto on Oct. 7, when the boy was fatally injured. After she called 911 to report a disturbance at a unit in a Montrose trailer park, officers arrived to find Nieto unresponsive and not breathing, authorities said.

The boy was declared brain dead two days later at Children’s Hospital in Denver.

The Montrose County Coroner’s office has said Nieto suffered non-accidental trauma, but authorities haven’t specified the boy’s injuries or how they believe they happened.

Espinosa-Zavala is currently unable to post bond at the Montrose County Jail because of a hold by federal immigration authorities, according to jail records.


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