Police: Woman killed her infant daughter
September 7, 2007
Steamboat Springs — A 33-year-old Steamboat Springs woman has been charged with the murder of her 1-year-old daughter.
Luz Devina Cisneros was arrested Thursday after police said she killed her infant daughter, Brianna Simon, in her Walton Ponds apartment.
Public Safety Director J.D. Hays said officers were called to the home at 870 Weiss Drive at about 8:15 a.m. Thursday to a report of a domestic dispute. Hays said the child’s father, 30-year-old Isaias Simon Urrutia, had been locked out of the home after arguing with Cisneros. Simon Urrutia called 911 and said Cisneros was threatening to harm their daughter and herself. The couple is not married but live together in the apartment.
Officers forced their way into the apartment, where they found Brianna injured and unconscious. Cisneros had a self-inflicted wound to her neck, Hays said. Brianna and Cisneros were transported by ambulance to Yampa Valley Medical Center, where Brianna was pronounced dead a short time later.
Cisneros was coherent and cooperative after the incident, Hays said. He would not say whether she confessed to the murder, nor would he comment on the nature of the weapon.
Cisneros remained under observation at the hospital until her arrest Thursday evening. She was booked into Routt County Jail at 9:15 p.m. Thursday.
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This morning, Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James filed a motion in Routt County Combined Court to seal the arrest warrant, arrest affidavit and a pending autopsy report, blocking those documents from public access.
“Routt County is a small community, and as such, its jury pool is likewise small,” St. James wrote in the motion. “The state looks to ensure the defendant receives a fair trial, and that the trial is held in Routt County. For these reasons, the state requests that all warrants, affidavits and any autopsy report filed in this case be sealed by the court, until further order of the court.”
Routt County Judge James Garrecht granted the motion. The Steamboat Pilot & Today will file a motion today, through its attorney, Chris Beall of Denver, to unseal the documents.
Cisneros is scheduled to appear via videoconference at 1 p.m. today in Routt County Court for her advisement. She is being represented by attorneys from the Public Defender’s Office.
Cisneros, a resident alien from Mexico, has no prior convictions. She is bilingual, but police used a translator to help communicate with her, Hays said. Simon Urrutia also is a resident alien from Mexico, Hays said. He is not being investigated for any crime.
Simon Urrutia has family in the area but is expected to move back into the apartment today. Hays said Simon Urrutia was emotional but cooperative during the course of the investigation Thursday.
Investigators taped off the crime scene Thursday and were assisted by field and lab agents from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The Steamboat Springs Police Department is leading the investigation.
Neighbors of Cisneros and Simon Urrutia described the couple as loving, quiet and dedicated to their daughter.
Felipe Uribe-Morales said he often saw Cisneros and her daughter holding hands while they walked around the apartment complex. He said he never heard Cisneros and Simon Urrutia fight or argue.
“They were good people,” Uribe-Morales said in Spanish. “I feel terrible about what happened here because that just doesn’t happen.”
Uribe-Morales said Brianna and her family celebrated her first birthday two weeks ago with relatives in Denver. He described the girl as “very beautiful.”
Neighbor Pete Hevenor has lived in Walton Ponds Apartments for a little more than a year. He said the neighborhood is calm and quiet. He often came across Cisneros, Simon Urrutia and their daughter.
“We’d say hello every couple of days because they spent a lot of time outside,” Hevenor said. “I’m heart-broken to an extent to have something like that happen. It’s horrible.”
The last murder in Steamboat Springs was the May 2000 slaying of Lori Bases. Bases was found stabbed to death in her home. Thomas Lee Johnson was convicted in 2001, but the Colorado Court of Appeals granted him a new trial last year because of an error in instructions given to the 12-member jury. The re-trial has not been heard.