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Court records: Mother thought 4-year-old daughter was overdosing for hours before calling 911

FOUNTAIN, Colo. (KRDO) -- According to court records obtained by 13 Investigates, the mother of a 4-year-old girl thought her daughter was overdosing for hours before getting medical help.

Wednesday, officers with the Fountain Police Department were dispatched to the Love's Truck Stop at 12:10 a.m. to respond to a reported overdose. According to police, officers found an unresponsive child. Despite performing CPR, the child was pronounced dead at the scene.

The El Paso County Coroner identified the victim as 4-year-old Acelynn Staton-Contreras.

On Thursday, detectives identified 24-year-old Emma Staton as the suspect in her daughter's death. According to the arrest affidavit, Staton believes her daughter died after getting into her hidden pills.

In the affidavit, Staton told investigators she fell asleep at her home around 9 p.m. Tuesday and woke up at an unknown time. After having a cigarette, that's when she noticed Acelynn was gasping for air and vomiting. The mother said Acelynn's behavior was consistent with a drug overdose she had seen in the past. After rolling Acelynn to her side, she noticed her 4-year-old was limp and non-responsive.

Staton said she stored pills on a window sill in her master bathroom earlier in the evening, and saw that the baggie was moved. She believed Acelynn must've gotten into the pills and ingested at least one.

The 24-year-old mother said she administered a dose of nasal spray meant to counteract the effect of an overdose, and it appeared to help. She then called her boyfriend to ask for a ride to the hospital.

At approximately 11:13 p.m. Tuesday, Staton called 911, but immediately hung up. When deputies arrived at the home Staton told them there was no emergency, claiming her daughter accidentally made the call. Deputies then left the home.

According to the affidavit, at the time that Staton told first responders the call for help was an accident, her daughter was still unconscious. Staton told investigators she thought Acelynn would be okay and "did not want issues with her brother, who lived in the basement."

After deputies left the home, Staton's boyfriend entered the home. She asked him to pick up additional spray. Twenty minutes later, her boyfriend arrived back at the Fountain home, and she administered a second dose.

Staton told investigators that she and her boyfriend began driving to the hospital after giving the second dose. However, that's when Acelynn began gasping for air and started turning blue. At that point, she called 911 again and informed the dispatcher what was happening.

According to the affidavit, Staton said they drove to the Love's gas station to meet first responders.

The arrest records say Staton attempted to perform CPR when they parked. Shortly after, first responders and medical personnel arrived on the scene and took over life-saving measures. The efforts were unsuccessful. Fire department personnel determined Acelynn was deceased.

Searches were conducted in Staton's home and in her boyfriend's vehicle. Investigators found 45 pills in total. They also found several drug-smoking pipes.

When detectives processed the scene, they found a container with several rounds and blue pills inside. The court records say the type of pills is often counterfeit. Staton later admitted to investigators that she possessed the container that was discovered.

Staton was arrested and charged with:

  • Child Abuse Resulting in Death (Felony)
  • Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (Felony)
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Emma Staton, 24

According to the affidavit, Acelynn's brain had swelling that was consistent with an overdose.

The El Paso County Coroner has completed an autopsy and will determine an official cause of death within the next few weeks.

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