Estella Toleafoa, 23, reportedly left her two young children, ages 9 months and 2 years, home alone while she went to a nearby restaurant and convenient mart. Police reports say that Toleafoa allegedly left her young children to fend for themselves in a dangerously hot bathtub. The baby, Erich Tyler Jr., was found dead on arrival when police responded to a call about a baby who was unresponsive. The cause of death has been determined by the Colorado Springs Medical Examiner as drowning and scalding. Reports go onto reveal that the baby suffered severe burns all over his body from the excruciatingly hot water. As reported by The Gazette, the baby’s 2 year old brother was apparently able to get out of the bathtub on his own before getting seriously burned.
The mother has been arrested for charges pending felony child abuse. The boys father is in the U.S. military and was serving in Afghanistan at the time of the incident. The Gazette reports that the father is now on his way back to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where the family lived in an apartment. Estella Toleafoa is currently in police custody on a $150,000 bond.
A Facebook message from Toleafoa last September 2010 showed a concerned wife, asking how to get more information on family support groups within the military and wishing everyone a “blessed day”.