Bond reduction denied for father jailed in baby’s death

Manuel Angel Rivera

A Clifton father was advised by friends after his arrest that he should have fled to Mexico before facing arrest in connection with the Oxycodone overdose death of his infant daughter, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

District Judge Valerie Robison on Tuesday cited the new information in the case of 30-year-old Manuel Rivera as the judge denied a defense request to lower Rivera’s $500,000 bond.

After Rivera’s arrest March 29, Rivera was advised by friends, in recorded phone conversations at the Mesa County Jail, that he should have “run” and that they could have helped him do so, Chief Deputy District Attorney Mark Hand told the judge.

Rivera expressed regret that he didn’t, Hand told the judge.

“That’s a strong and significant concern of the people in this case,” Hand said.

Rivera was arrested on suspicion of negligent child abuse resulting in the death of his daughter, 17-month-old Analeisa Rivera. The girl died as a result of Oxycodone overdose. Investigators believe the infant found and swallowed her father’s lost Oxycontin pill. Rivera acknowledged that he dropped, but couldn’t find, the pill on the floor of the master bedroom of the family’s Clifton apartment on the night of March 5, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

The affidavit said the girl’s mother, Melissa Rivera, told deputies her husband didn’t tell her about the missing pill, prior to discovering the infant dead the next morning.

“My baby can’t bond out, she’s gone forever,” Melissa Rivera told Robison on Tuesday.

Rivera’s case was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on June 23.


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