Jensen boys died after overheating in mother’s SUV; Coroner rules deaths accidental
Young William and Tyler Jensen died after overheating as they were left alone in their mother’s Toyota 4Runner on Grand Mesa Nov. 27, in what have been ruled accidental deaths, the Mesa County Coroner’s Office said today.
William, 2, and Tyler, 4, died as a result of hyperthermia — elevated temperature of the body.
The Mesa County District Attorney’s Office said the case is still being considered for possible charges.
The boy’s mother, Heather Jensen, 24, called 911 at 6:31 p.m. on Nov. 27 and reported William was unconscious, not breathing and had no pulse, according to a search warrant affidavit obtained by The Daily Sentinel. The affidavit said she told dispatchers around 6:50 p.m. that Tyler was breathing but “gurgling” with every breath. William was pronounced dead at the scene. Tyler died later at Children’s Hospital in Aurora after being removed from life support.
Jensen, in her initial statement to Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies on the night of Nov. 27, said she had taken her sons to play in the snow near Powderhorn Ski Resort. She said when they finished, she put the boys back in their car seat and started her 4Runner.
“Heather said she stood outside the vehicle, smoking a cigarette and then spoke to a friend who happened to drive by,” the affidavit said. “Heather said after about 10 minutes, she got in the vehicle and started driving home. She described hearing Tyler making gurgling noises within minutes of driving away.”
She said when she pulled over, she found William in distress and called 911, the affidavit said.
Jensen gave another description of events later that same day.
Interviewed at the Sheriff’s Department, Jensen said she made arrangements to meet a male friend and let her children play in the snow. After that, she said she put the children back in their car seats and started her engine. Jensen described “getting into the man’s truck,” which was parked next to the 4Runner.
Jensen admitted leaving the boys alone in her 4Runner, with its engine running, for approximately 90 minutes, the affidavit said. She told investigators both children were wearing coats when they were outside playing in the snow and she took the coats off when they got back into the 4Runner because they were wet, the affidavit said.
Read the full story in Wednesday’s Daily Sentinel.