MESA COUNTY, Colo. - Before Heather Jensen was arrested for allegedly leaving her young sons to die of hyperthermia in a heated car while she had sex and smoked marijuana in a nearby truck, people say the Palisade mother was neglecting the boys.
Jensen was the mother of 2-year-old William Haze Jensen and 4-year-old Tyler Brandon Jensen who were found unconscious in her 1995 Toyota 4Runner on Nov. 27, on The Grand Mesa near Powderhorn Ski Resort.
Friends, relatives and neighbors in the apartment complex where Jensen and the boys lived tell the Denver Post she was constantly leaving her boys with whoever would take them.
"She deserves everything she has coming to her," Heidi Raffaelli, an aunt of the boys, told the Post.
According to the newspaper, Raffaelli is among many who witnessed Heather Jensen's neglect, yet didn't report it and are now feeling guilty and remorse.
Jensen sometimes locked the boys alone in the apartment, and neighbors would have to break in to rescue them when the boys pounded on the walls, the newspaper reported.
Yet, none of this was reported to authorities.
Prior to the deaths of the boys, only one neighbor had called the Mesa County Department of Social Services to voice concern, according to the Post.
Court records show that neighbor reported in January 2011 that Jensen was smoking marijuana in front of her boys. It was not enough to prompt action that might have saved the boys, the Post reported.
The boys' father, Eric Jensen, 26, died in a two-car accident Oct. 10,. 2012 in Garfield County.
Jensen, 24, was arrested Jan. 16 in North Fort Meyers, Fla., at a family member's home.
According to the jail system, she was held in the Lee County Jail on a fugitive arrest warrant for two counts of child abuse resulting in death, two counts of criminally negligent homicide and one count of false reporting to authorities.
Jensen was released from the Florida jail on Wednesday and is expected to soon return Colorado to face charges in Mesa County.
Jensen had been serving a deferred judgment and probation stemming from a domestic violence arrest on March 13 in which Eric Jensen was the named victim, according to court records.
Eric Jensen told arresting Palisade police officers his wife had punched and bit him when he confronted her about hanging out with a woman “she receives medication from,” an arrest affidavit said. Eric Jensen told the officer she had taken Vicodin and Percocet in the past.
Heather Jensen was ordered to undergo drug-testing while on probation for the domestic violence case.
According to the Post, court records show that on four occasions she tested positive for marijuana and once for opiates during court-ordered urinalysis. On three occasions, including the last time she had a scheduled check-in with her supervisor weeks before her children died, she failed to show up for the appointments.