A number of news items that broke during the just-completed holiday week received less attention than they deserved. One glaring example: the charging of Tahca Chrstensen and Aldo Preza with child abuse resulting in death for the bathtub drowning of a six month old that Christensen partly attributed to her other child, age two, according to an arrest affidavit on view below.
The document states that Denver Police and paramedics were called to a building on the 5700 block of West Dartmouth at just past 8:30 a.m. on June 28 after receiving a report of a child who was not breathing. The youngster in question -- Angel Preza, born four days before Christmas of last year -- was vomiting up what appeared to be a combination of formula and bathwater when the crew members arrived. He was rushed to Swedish Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead just over an hour later.
Christensen, Angel's mom, wound up at the hospital, too, but not for long. She was soon cuffed and transported to police headquarters, where the affidavit says she agreed to talk after being read her rights. She revealed that she'd put Angel in a bathtub chair along with her two year old, who needed cleaning after messing his pants.
She then turned on the shower, she continued, before going into the other room to make her husband, Aldo Preza, his breakfast.
What could possibly go wrong in that scenario? Plenty. When she returned to the bathroom, she told police, she found Angel still in his chair but with his face in six inches of water.
The water shouldn't have collected in the tub, she noted, because she'd left the stopper out of the drain -- something she claimed to have done on three prior occasions without a problem. However, she said the two year old liked to play with the stopper.
Not that Christensen entirely blamed her surviving child for what happened to Angel. She allegedly conceded that she'd screwed up by leaving the children alone in the bathtub and said what happened was her fault.
The child-abuse-resulting-in-death charge leveled against Christensen suggests that the Denver District Attorney's Office agrees. But DA reps fitted Preza with the same count, presumably for putting breakfast ahead of his children's safety.
Here are large versions of the couple's booking photos, followed by the aforementioned arrest affidavits.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Muriel Keer allegedly on computer in different room as her baby drowned in bathtub."
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