Karla Ceballos Accused of Letting Her Baby Drown While She Cleaned Kitchen

Over the years, we've written about a number of tragedies that occurred after parents left young children unsupervised in a bathtub.

Take the 2011 case of Fort Lupton's Shannon Johnson, whose one-year-old son drowned while she was playing Cafe World on Facebook. Within months, Johnson was sentenced to ten years behind bars for the child's death.

Now, an unsettlingly similar case has taken place in Denver.

Karla Ceballos-Andrade — known simply as Karla Ceballos on Facebook — has been charged with fatal child abuse after her eleven-month-old daughter, also named Karla, drowned in the tub alongside her two-year-old sibling while their mom tidied up around the house.

An affidavit included in the collection of documents on view below tells the story from the prosecution's perspective.

At 4:55 p.m. on August 13, according to the report, Denver police officers and emergency personnel responded to a call about an infant that was not breathing. The area near the location, 1240 South Birch Street, is captured in the following interactive graphic. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View on Google Maps."

Shortly after their arrival, the medical crew transported Karla Karoline Garcia, Ceballos's eleven-month-old daughter, to a nearby hospital. However, she was declared dead the following day.

Later on the 13th, Ceballos is said to have consented to an interview with investigators.

She told them that earlier that day, she had fed Karla and her other child, then put them into the tub together — something she "always" did.

After filling the tub with approximately six inches of water, she said she "began doing chores around the apartment." The tasks involved "moving furniture around, cleaning the kitchen and picking up some broken glass from the hallway."

Amid these activities, Ceballos said she heard water running — something that struck her as unusual. "She had an eerie feeling," the affidavit maintains.

Upon her arrival, Ceballos said she found Karla "fully submerged in the tub." The water was running, she added, and the level "was almost to the top."

The baby was "lifeless" when she pulled her from the water, Ceballos went on. She maintained that she'd left the children alone in the tub for less than ten minutes, although a firefighter with whom she'd spoken earlier said she told him the length of time had been "no longer than fifteen minutes."

Ceballos posted frequently on her Facebook page in the days that followed. But she didn't directly address what happened until August 22, when she shared the photo at the top of this post along with the following:
Those who are the closes to me know the hard and stressful situation I am going through. It has been full of sorrow and agonizing pain this month if I could have things differently, I would give my life for such change but only the Lord knows why. I have to accept things how they are and realize that he knows what is being done is for a greater plan in life and in the end our children are just borrowed from him and I thank him everyday for introducing me to one of his angels showing me the joy and happiness one sole can bring. I write this not for attention but to give everyone the opportunity to meet the angel that came into my life and touched my heart forever. I will always miss my Angelm words will never be sufficient in this life to express that. Karla Karoline funeral service will be held on Colorado Blvd and Mississippi at Horan & McConaty on this coming up Tuesday, it will start at 10:00 a.m. I appreciate everyone who can come out that day to pay there respects. And apologize to anyone that I don't respond to on this as I feel a little overwhelmed with the situation as is. If you are not able to come please pray for us all to ease some sorrow in our hearts. Thank you to all.
A day later, Ceballos added this along with an emoticon labeled "feeling drained:"
My life sucks, have to deal with more than I can sometimes handle! I am a human being. I have feelings and emotions. I am not always strong. Why does the lord test me so much or is it the devil that won't get off my back! Fuck it, I'm moving out of my place this month, idgaf how I'm going to do it, but I'm not staying here another month!
Staffers at the Denver District Attorney's Office had plans of their own. Ceballos now faces one count of child abuse resulting in death. At last report, she remained in custody on a $100,000 bond. She's next due in court on September 2.

Meanwhile, an online fundraising campaign launched in Karla Karoline's memory has not collected any donations at this writing.

Below, see Ceballos's booking photo, followed by the arrest affidavit.

Karla Ceballos Andrade Affidavit

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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