A 9-month-old baby who drowned in a bathtub Tuesday night spent the first months of his life in the care of Denver Human Services after he was born to a mother jailed on a drug possession conviction, according to court records.
After being released on bond last fall, the mother, Muriel Keer, was jailed again for violating probation by failing two drugs tests for methamphetamine and opiates, court record show. This happened just days before the Nov. 27, 2010, birth of her son, Aldrich Leathers.
A judge was so concerned about the drug test violations that Keer's bond was raised from $5,000 to $1 million, court records show.
Yet Keer, who pleaded guilty to felony methamphetamine possession, received a suspended four-year prison sentence and four years of intensive supervised probation in December, court records said.
Keer, 39, entered a female offender drug treatment program, and her baby remained in the custody of the Human Services agency for about five months, 7NEWS reporter Dayle Cedars learned.
In May, the baby boy was returned to his mother, who lived in a northeast Denver home at 2725 E. 33rd Ave.
For Aldrich's first month at home, an in-home monitoring service was checking up on Keer and her infant, Cedars learned. Denver Human Services deemed the transition a success and closed its case.
After that, the only official watching Keer was her probation officer.
Aldrich was found unresponsive in a bathtub at the 33rd Avenue home on Tuesday night, police said.
Neighbors said they heard the mother screaming, "Not my baby!" as the unconscious child was rushed to Presbyterian Saint Luke's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Keer was arrested on suspicion of child abuse resulting in death, police said.
Neighbors said they saw two men flee Keer's home on the night the baby died. A source told 7NEWS that police are investigating that report.
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