Pair gives $2,700 to block boys’ cremation

The balance of a $5,000 security bond was paid Monday in a civil action involving the grandparents of late Palisade children Tyler and William Jensen, potentially ensuring the boys’ bodies won’t be cremated.

East Orchard Mesa residents Albert Ruckman, and his daughter, Kim, gave $2,700 in a deposit made Monday morning at the Mesa County Justice Center, according to court records. As of Friday, $2,300 had been raised and deposited: a collection of door-to-door fundraising efforts from Grand Valley residents and beyond, as well as donations to a memorial fund at US Bank branches.

Albert Ruckman said he wanted to help after recognizing Diane Mathena, the grandmother of William and Tyler Jensen, in a front-page photo in Saturday’s Daily Sentinel.

“She’s a good kid ... we know them,” Ruckman said.

There are no guarantees of a refund, depending on how a dispute over the Jensen boys’ remains resolves in the court system, he said.

The payoff means Callahan-Edfast Mortuary is now legally barred from cremating the remains of Tyler and William, whose deaths remain the focus of an ongoing law enforcement investigation. The injunction will remain active at least 14 days, but could be extended.

Mesa County District Judge Thomas Deister on Thursday granted an emergency injunction to block plans to cremate the bodies, but Deister also said Mathena had to first post $5,000 in security for the injunction to issue.

Deister said the $5,000 was needed in the event a court later decides that Heather Jensen, the boys’ mother, was wrongfully prohibited from moving forward with plans to cremate the boys’ bodies.

Callahan-Edfast offered cremation of the bodies, at no cost, at the request of Heather Jensen. Mathena on Wednesday applied for an emergency injunction to stop it, saying she wants them buried next to their father, Eric Jensen, in Palisade.

A representative of Callahan-Edfast told The Daily Sentinel last Thursday they had the bodies and cremation was “pending but on hold” until the legal issues were resolved. The Mesa County Coroner’s Office released the bodies, at Heather Jensen’s request, to the mortuary after autopsies last week.

Authorities have not released the cause or manner of deaths of William 2, and Tyler, 4.

No arrests have been made in connection with the Nov. 27 incident near Powderhorn Mountain Resort. Heather Jensen has not responded to requests for comment.

Aside from the injunction request, Diane Mathena has asked Deister for a separate determination of her legal right to decide what to do with the boys’ bodies, as opposed to the boys’ mother.


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