RIFLE, Colo.- Alec Larson says responding authorities told him his daughter Sophia Larson died on December 12 after drinking from a water bottle that was used to smoke methamphetamine.
Last week, Rifle Police arrested Stephanie Alvarado, Bertha Karina Ceballos-Romo, and Daniel Alvarado on counts of child abuse resulting in death, methamphetamine possession, and reckless endangerment. Ceballos-Romo was additionally charged with tampering with evidence.
Alec Larson says Sophia was spending the night with her mother, Stephanie Alvarado, one of the suspects arrested in relation to the girl’s death.
When Larson heard meth was possibly involved in his daughter’s death, he says he was devastated. He says he and Stephanie Alvarado had been separated for over a year.
“I was honestly prepared for it,” Larson told KREX 5. “I knew there was an issue with the methamphetamine with her mom before. And I was working my way up to taking Sophie away from her.”
Larson says he had custody of Sophia five days out of the week. He says within the last year, he suspected Stephanie’s habits were getting out of hand. He finally got to the point where he wanted to get full custody.
“I never acted sooner because Sophie loved her mom so much,” Larson said. “And I didn’t want Sophie to have a reason to be upset with me if we had this huge battle.”
The night that Sophia died, Larson says he was planning on picking her up from school the next day. But in the middle of the night, one of Stephanie Alvarado’s family members came to let him know Sophia was in the hospital.
Larson then drove from his Carbondale home to Grand River Hospital in Rifle. But by the time he arrived, a doctor let him know Sophia had died.
“He let me know that Sophie had passed away from cardiac arrest. And it just didn’t make any sense to me, she was too healthy to have a heart attack.”
In a police affidavit obtained off of Facebook, Rifle police were told Sophia had a high number of methamphetamine in her blood, and her cause of death would be linked to methamphetamine intoxication.
Alec Larson says his relationship with his daughter was priceless.
“It was amazing,” Larson said. I would pick her up from school and she would be with her friends and she’d come running away from her friends screaming to me.
Alec Larson says right now is one of the darkest times of his life. But, he says people from across the Western Slope have reached out with encouraging memories of his daughter.
“It’s Sophie still giving me that little bit of light that she was. It’s truly amazing in such a horrible time to see the impact that little girl had.”