COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Colorado Springs mother accused of drowning her 5-year-old son before wrapping him in a blanket and setting it on fire was found wet and naked in a closet by firefighters, according to an arrest affidavit.
The child was found by firefighters around 9:16 a.m. Friday while they were responding to the apartment fire in the Hill Park Apartments at 4320 E. Pikes Peak Ave.
The affidavit states that the apartment manager was the first to try to enter the apartment after the smoke was seen. He found the door was barricaded. When he forced it partially open, the smoke was too thick for him to get inside.
The manager told investigators he shouted repeatedly for the family inside, but they never responded.
When firefighters arrived, the affidavit says, they had to force the door the rest of the way open because plastic bins full of clothing were still blocking the way. They also found a dining room table that had toppled, "as if it had been against the front door and turned over when the door was pushed open."
The document says that firefighters went to the bedroom and found a smoldering mattress that they threw out the window. Next, they found a child wrapped in a smoldering blanket on top of the box spring.
The 5 year old was unwrapped and taken outside, where firefighters tried to resuscitate him. The boy was later identified as Jude Murray-Gomez.
Inside, another firefighter found the child's mother. Shannon Dodson was naked, wet and sitting up with her arms wrapped around her knees in a hall closet, the affidavit states. Her eyes were closed and she did not respond to the firefighter.
A detective found the bathtub in the apartment was filled with water to the overflow drain and a half-empty bottle of over-the-counter sleeping medication was in the kitchen. The affidavit says a similar pill was also found on the floor of the bedroom along with several burnt and unburned matches.
As the investigation developed, officers informed the boy's father and grandmother of the death. The affidavit says the father and grandmother told officers that Dodson failed to return the boy to them on time.
The boy's aunt also told officers that he did not like to bathe at Dodson's home because "she liked to dunk his head under the water."
The affidavit says that two of Dodson's grown children were also interviewed. They told investigators that Dodson had made threats about killing herself and Jude four days earlier, but later said she would not follow through.
An autopsy found that the child's death was caused by drowning and not the fire, leading the coroner to rule the death was a homicide.
When the investigators went to interview Dodson in the hospital on Nov. 9, they started by asking if she knew why they were there.
"Because I killed my son," the woman responded, according to the affidavit.
"Ms. Dodson also said she thought they would go together and that she couldn't believe she did it," the affidavit also says.