Notes at boys’ grave pique cops’ interest
A hand-written letter and photos with a birthday card discovered last weekend at the Palisade graves of young William and Tyler Jensen may have been sent by the boys’ incarcerated mother, the boys’ grandfather said Thursday.
Robert Mathena of Clifton, grandfather of William and Tyler, said his stepson, Johnny, discovered a series of items tucked in an envelope near the headstones of William, Tyler and their father, Eric, at Palisade Municipal Cemetery on Sunday.
The items were turned over to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Heather Benjamin confirmed receipt of a letter in connection to the prosecution of 25-year-old Heather Jensen but said little else.
“Since it is evidence in a case that has yet to be prosecuted, we aren’t in a position to comment further on it at this time,” she said.
Mathena — speculating Jensen may have mailed items to a third party who ended up leaving them graveside — questioned whether the act represents a potential violation of a protection order in the case, via third-party contact. Jensen is being held at the Mesa County Jail on $150,000 bond.
“I was hoping to tell the judge to get her to stop doing it,” Mathena said, referring to a hearing Wednesday in Jensen’s case. “She was trying to hurt us. It was meant for us to read.”
Mathena said the letter had disparaging remarks about his family.
He said the envelope, which had no addressee or return address, was found attached to a pinwheel hanging on the graves of his son, Eric, and grandchildren. The plain envelope had a “Superman” logo and messages such as, “I love you to the stars and back,” Mathena said.
There was a birthday card for William and references to his death, he said.
“It was an accident ... I gave you CPR for 45 minutes waiting for the emergency team to show up ... Mommy would never put you in harms way,” Mathena said, describing its contents.
William Jensen would have celebrated his third birthday today.
There were photos of Heather and her late husband, Eric, with their boys included, Mathena said. Several Bible passages were quoted from Proverbs and Hebrews. Mathena couldn’t recall exact passages.
“It was basically ‘God will never forsake us,’” he said.
“She was convinced she was a good mommy and a good wife,” Mathena said.
Mathena said he was convinced Jensen was behind the correspondence based on the wording, the photos and the author’s knowledge of birth dates, among other details.
In a court appearance Wednesday, Jensen’s attorney revealed a plea bargain offer has been extended in Jensen’s criminal case, now scheduled for arraignment on May 30.
Jensen is charged with two counts of child abuse resulting in death, two counts of criminally negligent homicide and false reporting to authorities in connection with the deaths of her sons, William, 2, and Tyler, 4. The boys died as a result of overheating in their mother’s Toyota 4Runner on the night of Nov. 27, 2012, on Grand Mesa. William died that night, while Tyler was removed from life support on Dec. 3.
An arrest warrant affidavit alleges Jensen was having sex with a man and smoking marijuana as her boys were left alone inside their mother’s vehicle.