Stephanie Rochester feared son had autism
(PAUL AIKEN)Feb 15:Boulder DA appeals Stephanie Rochester ruling, seeks clarity in future casesJan 11:Boulder judge: Stephanie Rochester not guilty by reason of insanity in son’s deathDec 5:Boulder DA won’t contest Stephanie Rochester’s sanity, drops jury trial Oct 24:Victim’s advocate: Stephanie Rochester said, ‘I did it. I killed my baby’ Oct 21:Boulder DA asks state Supreme Court to intervene in Stephanie Rochester case Oct 17:Boulder judge: DA can’t have own expert examine Stephanie Rochester Sep 28:Attorney: Stephanie Rochester too unstable to attend Boulder court hearings Jul 14:State psychiatrist: Stephanie Rochester, accused of killing son, is legally insane Jun 12:Hospital backlog delays Stephanie Rochester murder caseApr 28:Competency review delayed for Stephanie Rochester, charged with son’s murder Apr 13:Boulder magistrate stalls civil case against murder suspect Stephanie RochesterFeb 7:Husband sues Superior murder suspect Stephanie Rochester for wrongful deathDec 17:Superior mother Stephanie Rochester pleads insanity defense in baby’s deathNov 5:Superior mother accused of smothering baby appears in courtJul 28:Police: Superior murder suspect Stephanie Rochester motivated by financial pressuresJun 24:Superior’s Stephanie Rochester, charged in murder of her son, in court to discuss evidenceJun 9:Husband of Superior’s Stephanie Rochester hires lawyer, but police say nothing ‘chargeable at this time’Jun 3:Superior’s Stephanie Rochester denied bond; faces murder charge MondayJun 2:Superior mother accused of killing baby is on suicide watchJun 1:Superior mother arrested on suspicion of killing her infant son
Jun 24:Superior’s Stephanie Rochester, charged in murder of her son, in court to discuss evidenceJun 13:Delusional beliefs often factor in child killingsRochester story strikes disturbing note for parents of children with autismJun 10:Superior baby murder suspect’s husband files for divorceJun 9:Husband of Superior’s Stephanie Rochester hires lawyer, but police say nothing ‘chargeable at this time’Jun 7:Autism typically not diagnosed until age 2 or 3Jun 3:Superior’s Stephanie Rochester denied bond; faces murder charge MondayJun 2:Experts: Postpartum depression rarely leads to infanticideSuperior mother accused of killing baby is on suicide watchJun 1:Superior mother arrested on suspicion of killing her infant son
Anxiety that having an autistic child would financially and emotionally “ruin” her life drove a Superior mental health counselor to asphyxiate her 6 month old son with a plastic bag before putting blankets over his head “so that he would die,” according to court documents released Monday.
“She believed that the baby was showing signs of autism,” according to an affidavit seeking a warrant for Stephanie Rochester’s arrest. “She wanted to kill herself, but did not want to burden her husband with the baby inflicted with autism.”
Rochester, 34, was charged Monday with two counts of first degree murder and child abuse resulting in death. The Boulder County District Attorney’s Office charged her with two counts of first degree murder under two different theories murder after deliberation, and knowingly causing the death of a child younger than 12 by a person in a position of trust, said Deputy District Attorney Adrian Van Nice.
The two murder charges are punishable by life in prison or death. The child abuse charge is punishable by up to 24 years in prison.
“This was very upsetting to Stephanie,” according to the affidavit, written by Boulder County sheriff’s Detective Mark Spurgeon.
Pediatricians said Rylan was progressing normally, which frustrated Rochester because she “felt her concerns were dismissed.”
Rochester told detectives that she was suffering from postpartum depression and told nurses and her family that she was having suicidal thoughts. A midwife prescribed her Zoloft, an antidepressant, but her husband, Lloyd Rochester, told investigators that when his wife told his mother that she needed help and was feeling suicidal, the response was “minimal.”
Lloyd, Stephanie and baby Rylan Rochester
On May 31, the night before Rylan died, Rochester and her husband took the infant to Children’s Hospital timberland boots Urgent Care because the boy didn’t want to eat and was being increasingly fussy. A triage nurse ch timberland boots ecked Rylan’s vital signs, which were normal, and the family left without being seen because of a long wait.
While they were waiting, Lloyd Rochester made a comment to his wife that “he didn’t know it was going to be like this, meaning having a child,” according to the affidavit. When they got home timberland boots , Rochester thought to herself, “I’ve got to do something,” the document said.
She placed a plastic Target bag over Rylan’s head as he slept and then put a blanket on top of his face, the affidavit said.
“She said that she had conducted research on the computer and read that carbon monoxide poisoning deaths don’t hurt a timberland boots nd you just go to sleep,” Spurgeon wrote. “She did not want Rylan to hurt.”
After a minute, she removed the bag, and Rylan was still breathing. She went downstairs, according to the affidavit, and ate dinner with her husband drinking wine and discussing selling their house.
“She and Lloyd talked about how they wanted to have fun in life,” Spurgeon wrote. “Stephanie said that she knew they would not have fun while they were caring for a severely autistic child.”