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Mother charged with daughter's fentanyl-related death held on $500,000 bond

Posted at 4:23 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 10:14:54-04

FOUNTAIN — An El Paso County judge has ordered Emma Staton held on $500,000 bond on charges of child abuse resulting in death for the fentanyl-related death of her 4-year-old daughter.

News5 is awaiting a copy of the arrest affidavit for Staton. However, the Fountain Police Department announced she is charged with child abuse resulting in death, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was originally being held on a $50,000 bond.

During a virtual advisement hearing, Magistrate Deborah Pearson ordered an "elevated bond" based on "several aggravated factors." She listed out allegations that fentanyl was left within reach of the daughter, Acelynn Staton-Contreras.

According to the judge, an emergency call was made after the child consumed or came in contact with fentanyl, but Staton told authorities nothing was wrong when they called back.

Furthermore, the judge said the child was given 2 doses of Narcan on the way to the hospital before 911 was called again.

A search of her home turned up 45 fentanyl pills and an amount of methamphetamine, according to the judge.

The El Paso County Department of Human Services says illegal substances are found in instances of child abuse more often than not.

"Nationally actually, 76-80% of all of our reports of child abuse cases have at least one component of substance abuse so it's a pretty high number," said a spokesperson for DHS.

DHS says summertime poses more problems in terms of reporting, since mandated reporters (Teachers, Coaches, etc.) are out of school.

"It's summer, kids aren't in school, they might not be in daycare and especially with our little ones who aren't in school and may not ever be in daycare, we really rely on the community. They're our eyes and ears as to what's going on with their neighbors."

The El Paso County Coroner's Office confirms they were called to the Love's Truck Stop in Fountain, Colorado on Wednesday as part of an investigation into the death of the 4-year-old child.

Medics were first called to the location off of I-25 just after midnight for a child in distress. The child was pronounced dead at the scene.

The coroner's office has conducted an autopsy, but results are still pending.

News5 is working to gather more information about the investigation.

If you need to report something to child protective services (DHS), call 1-844-264‑5437.

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