On Thursday, October 22, detectives with the Western Colorado Drug Task Force responded to 475 32 1/8 Rd, #3, to investigate information they had received that there was illegal drug activity originating from the apartment.
Upon arrival, detectives contacted Amber Maestas, 29. Maestas stated that she lived at the address, and allowed the detectives inside the residence. Inside, there was another adult female, as well as two children. Detectives informed Maestas that they had received reports of illegal drug activity at the residence and wanted to search her apartment. Maestas was informed that she could refuse the search. Maestas stated that there were people trying to get her in trouble. She stated that there was no drug activity in her apartment and she consented to the search. Within a minute of the search starting, detectives located methamphetamine, which was accessible to the children in the residence. Maestas was advised that she was under arrest, and was placed in handcuffs. Maestas told detectives that she had smoked meth that morning.
During this time, a child in the residence asked one of the detectives if he had a gun. The child, a four year old male, also told the detective that “his mom had a gun and that it was really big.” Upon inquiry, Maestas told detectives that she had a loaded pistol under her mattress and a rifle in her closet. After conducting a search on the serial numbers of the firearms, the rifle was found to be reported stolen out of Texas. A criminal history was completed on Maestas, and she was found to have been convicted of multiple felonies in past cases, to include drug offenses.
A search of Maestas revealed a pipe used to smoke methamphetamine hidden on her person. A further search of her residence revealed numerous items of drug paraphernalia, as well as a hypodermic needle with liquid inside and .380 caliber ammunition. Detectives also located suspected marijuana, which was within easy reach of the children.
Maestas was remanded to the custody of the Mesa County Jail, on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute, Possession of a Weapon (drug offense), Child Abuse, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance, Theft, and Possession of Weapons by Previous Offender.
The Grand Junction Police Department has arrested 20-year-old Sydney Danielle White of Grand Junction on a charge of child abuse resulting in death.
The arrest comes after a social worker at Denver Children’s Hospital in Aurora notified our investigators on September 16 that an 11-month-old girl named Angel Lane Place had arrived at their hospital from St. Mary’s Hospital with head trauma. The child was not expected to survive.
During the investigation detectives learned Angel was in White’s care who was serving as a foster mom. White told investigators that on September 12 she accidentally dropped Angel on the floor which resulted in a minor cut to Angel’s lip and a bloody nose. White also said that on the morning of September 15 Angel was screaming and she couldn’t get her to stop. She described shaking the baby. White said the baby initially became lethargic and wouldn’t wake up, but that later she appeared to be doing better. Later that night White took Angel to St. Mary’s Hospital when Angel’s right side became stiff and she was unresponsive. Angel went to Children’s Hospital that same night, where she later died on September 17. During examination the coroner found additional head injuries.
Detectives booked White into the Mesa County Jail. For information on inmates in that facility, including bond updates, visit the MCSO Inmate Inquiry System.
Below is the news release sent out from the Mesa County Coroner’s Office:
Mesa County Coroner’s Office
Dean M. Havlik, MD, Coroner
Victor Yahn, Chief Deputy Coroner
Date: September 19, 2014
For Immediate Release
The Mesa County Coroner’s Office has completed its examination regarding the death of Angel Lenee Place, an 11 month-old female resident of Grand Junction, CO. Passed away after she was transported to Children’s Hospital in Aurora, CO on September 17, 2014. The cause of death is blunt force head injuries and the manner of death is homicide.
The law enforcement agency overseeing this investigation is the Grand Junction Police Department. Please contact them for any further details regarding this case.
Dean M Havlik, MD, Mesa County Coroner
Victor Yahn, Chief Deputy Coroner