A look back on 2020: Rifle mother arrested, ultimately pleads guilty to 2nd degree murder for death of 5-year-old daughter
Seven weeks after 5-year-old Sophie Larson of Rifle died of an accidental methamphetamine overdose on Dec. 12, 2019, the girl’s mother, Stephanie Alvarado, and two accomplices were arrested.
Roughly one year since her daughter’s death and after several court delays brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, Alvarado pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 29, 2021, facing anywhere from 16 to 48 years in prison.
According to an investigation by police and the Ninth District Attorney’s Office, the girl died after ingesting water contaminated with methamphetamine early the morning of Dec. 12.
The day before, Alvarado’s boss at an area dental clinic had called her to say she was fired because she failed a drug test.
Later that night, according to the investigation, Alvarado was with her cousin, Daniel Alvarado, friend Bertha Ceballos-Romo and Sophie in Rifle when the girl drank from a bottle containing the contaminated water. Both Daniel Alvarado and Ceballos-Romo would also be charged in connection to Sophie’s death.
When the girl started to react to the drug, Alvarado admitted to investigators that she waited to seek medical treatment because she didn’t want to lose custody. Daniel Alvarado, due back in court Jan. 21, 2022, and Ceballos-Romo, who since took a plea, were brought up on separate charges for also failing to take action.
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A fire in a building at Willits Town Center Thursday night forced Roaring Fork Fire Rescue to prepare for the worst because of residences on the upper two stories. Fortunately the fire was confined to an HVAC unit on the roof.