Three arrested for death of 5-year-old Rifle girl

The mother of 5-year-old Sophie Larson, who died Dec. 12 from a suspected overdose, was arrested Thursday along with two others in connection to her daughter’s death.

Police arrested Stephanie Alvarado, 26, Bertha Ceballos-Romo, 26, and Daniel Alvarado, 27, Thursday afternoon on charges of child abuse resulting in death, a class 2 felony, possession of methamphetamine, and reckless endangerment, according to a Rifle Police Department statement. Ceballos-Romo is also charged with tampering with evidence.

Stephanie Alvarado, Bertha Ceballos-Romo, and Daniel Alvarado

All three arrested are presumed innocent until proven guilty, the news release notes. Conviction of a class 2 felony is punishable by between 8 to 24 years in prison.

Police declined to identify the girl as a matter of policy, but the girl’s father, Alec Larson, told the Post Independent about how he heard of his daughter’s death.

The exact details and manner of Sophie Larson’s death are still under investigation.

Rifle Police were notified of a 5-year-old girl in medical distress at approximately 2:20 a.m. Dec. 12. The girl was being transported to Grand River Hospital in a private vehicle, according to the news release.

“Life-saving measures were provided at the hospital, but unfortunately the juvenile died,” the news release reads.

Larson was in El Jebel that night, planning to pick up his daughter from school later on Dec. 12.  

Larson and Alvarado had been separated for over a year, and he had primary custody.

“I was working on going for full custody of my daughter, because I knew that her mom had problems. I just didn’t know it was to this extent,” Larson said.

One of Alvarado’s family members informed Larson that the girl was at the hospital, and got to Grand River Hospital around 4:30 a.m.

“I got to the hospital and didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “I went into the back expecting to find Sophie sick or something, but the doctor told me she had passed away.”

Larson said he hopes the tragic loss will be a wake-up call about the epidemic of methamphetamine and other addictions.

“I want it to be heard that this was preventable, and can be prevented for other people,” Larson said.

Larson said his daughter had a positive impact on many people in the community. He has received letters from people he didn’t know who said they remember Sophie Larson from small interactions.

“She was just a bright light everywhere she went,” Larson said.

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