News that Superior resident Stephanie Rochester, 34, has been arrested on suspicion that she killed her six-month-old son, Rylan, is shocking in and of itself. She's reportedly on suicide watch at Boulder County Jail.
But the jolt is amplified by Internet trails that portray Stephanie, Rylan and husband Lloyd as the perfect family.
On April 18, Chatsworth, California-based photographer Kym Vitar posted a photo blog entitled "the rochester family," featuring charming photos of the trio. Vitar requested that we not feature a screen capture from this page, which has since been removed -- although an image from it can be seen on a Channel 7 post. She also asked that we not quote directly from the text, which described the contagious warmth and joy exuded by Stephanie and Lloyd and noted that it had been inherited by Rylan. She also noted that she looked forward to seeing the family the next time she visited Colorado.
Rochester subsequently placed a comment on Vitar's Facebook page that echoed the tone on the photo blog. On May 3, she wrote, "I wish you were in CO I need some baby room decorating ideas!!! I STILL haven't decorated Rylans room, but it is painted so I thin that counts ; )"
The winky-smiley icon that ends the note is now sadly ironic. Look below to read a release from the Boulder County Sheriff's Office about Rochester's arrest:
On Tuesday morning, June 1, 2010, representatives from Avista Hospital notified the Boulder County Coroner's Office of the death of a 6-month-old male infant. The infant was brought to the hospital by the parents seeking medical assistance.
Investigators were told the parents found the infant unresponsive in his crib. The parents transported the infant to Avista hospital where attempts were made to resuscitate him. He was pronounced dead shortly after their arrival at the hospital.
Tuesday afternoon, at approximately 5:55 p.m., an arrest was made in the death of the infant.
The investigation revealed that the death of the infant was intentional and the mother, Stephanie Rochester, 34 years of age, a Superior resident, has been arrested pursuant to an arrest warrant. The charges on the arrest warrant are for First Degree Murder, a class 1 felony, and one count of Child Abuse resulting in death, a class 3 felony. She is being held at the Boulder County Jail pending the posting of bond. The bond has been set at $750,000.00.
At this time, the investigation is still in the preliminary stages and additional information will be released as it becomes available.