Maria Alvarado-Gomez, 32, was arrested after allegedly putting rat poison in smoothies she then gave to her young daughters; she also ingested some of the substance in an attempt to end her life.
A resident of Carbondale, Alvarado-Gomez is said to suffer from mental-health issues, calling into question what charges might be pressed against her. Now, we have the answer: She's been formally accused of attempted first-degree murder and child abuse. Details, photos and a video below.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Aspen Times, Alvarado-Gomez had been under a doctor's care for depression and was supposed to be taking medication; whether she'd actually done so is unknown.
Meanwhile, she apparently began to fear that her husband, 46-year-old Martin Luciano-Gonzalez, wanted to move to Mexico and take their daughters, ages eight and eleven, with him. This thought distressed Alvarado-Gomez, who subsequently told investigators that "she would rather the children be dead than alive in Mexico" -- and she appears to have felt the same way about herself.
The morning of June 30, the Times reports, Alvarado-Gomez took shocking and disturbing action. Inspired by an unnamed TV show, she's said to have purchased a box of rat poison from a local hardware store and blended it into smoothies made with milk, strawberries, sugar and ice cream. Then she fed it to the girls, apparently not realizing that the kind she purchased -- featuring the active ingredient brodifacoum, which effects blood clotting -- can take a couple of days to become lethal.
Her daughters blanched at the taste, which she blamed on vitamins she'd added to the beverages, and one of them vomited. But both girls survived even though their mom allegedly made no effort to get medical treatment for them.
The next day, the girls were transported by ambulance to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, where they responded to treatment; they were put into their father's custody upon their release. But Alvarado-Gomez, who also required medical care, was booked into Garfield County Jail on a $300,000 bond despite her explanation for what she'd done. A translator quoted her as saying "she did not want to suffer anymore and she did not want her children to suffer anymore."
More than two weeks later, prosecutors have decided on their course of action. The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reveals that during a brief court appearance yesterday, Alvarado-Gomez was charged with two counts apiece of attempted first-degree murder and child abuse causing serious bodily harm. Each of the first two counts carry a jail sentence of up to 24 years behind bars, while the latter's punishment range is four-to-sixteen years.
Meanwhile, Luciano-Gonzalez offers the following comment about his wife's actions: "I want people to understand that she is sick."
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Look below to see a larger version of Alvarado-Gomez's full-face booking photo, followed by a 9News report shortly after news about the incident broke earlier this month.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.