Police say woman fed rat poison to daughters, herself

Will Grandbois
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Maria Alvarado-Gomez

Police documents on Thursday said a Carbondale woman accused of poisoning her children put rat poison in their drinks.

According to the documents, Maria Alvarado Gomez, 32, of Carbondale, told her doctor that she mixed an entire box of rat poison into smoothies for herself and her two daughters, 8 and 11.

She told police through an interpreter that she “would rather the children be dead than alive in Mexico,” where she said the girls’ father wanted to take them, the documents said.

Documents indicate the alleged incident took place on Monday morning but was not reported until Tuesday, when Alvarado-Gomez was at a regular doctor’s appointment complaining of trouble sleeping.

The girls were taken to Valley View Hospital by ambulance and later released, while Alvarado-Gomez was arrested on two counts of first-degree attempted murder, Class 2 felonies, and booked at the Garfield County Jail. Colorado Bureau of Investigation records indicate that she has no other criminal history in the state.

Through an interpreter, Alvarado-Gomez told investigators that “she did not want to suffer anymore and she did not want her children to suffer anymore,” according to the documents.

The girls’ father, Martin Luciano-Gonzalez, 46, consented to a search of the home, the documents said. He reportedly told police that Alvardo-Gomez was getting counseling, but the documents say nothing about him indicating that he wanted to leave with the girls. The children were returned to their father after leaving the hospital, the documents said.

Police also reportedly spoke with Brenda Paredes, who accompanied Alvarado-Gomez to the doctor’s office. Paredes said Alvarado-Gomez was supposed to be on medication but may not have been taking it and that Alvarado-Gomez had seemed very depressed for the previous few days, the police documents said.

Alvarado-Gomez said she got the idea of using rat poison from a television show and obtained the poison at a local hardware store that morning, according to the documents.

Milk, strawberries, sugar and ice cream failed to mask the taste of the poison, and when the children complained, Alvarado-Gomez told them she had put vitamins in them, the documents said.

Although one of the girls vomited and Alvarado-Gomez made no attempt to obtain medical treatment, Alvarado-Gomez and both girls were still alive and active the next morning, the documents said.

A search of the home reportedly yielded an empty container of rodent poison containing brodifacoum, which impairs blood clotting by blocking vitamin K and can result in internal bleeding. Symptoms of brodifacoum poisoning usually take a couple of days to become apparent, and the most common treatment is administration of vitamin K.

The police documents indicate that the empty box contained a warning: “Keep out of the reach of children. May be harmful or fatal if ingested.”


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