Court Documents Say Baby "Charred" in Home Fire

Court documents released Wednesday give new information about the night several children were set on fire, and one of them was killed.

Monday night, Colorado Springs Police received a phone call from a woman who gave her address as 3225 Galena Court. That's the home in which the burned children were found a short time after the phone call.

The affidavit states the 911 operators heard a child saying, "Why did you kill him?" A child then came on the phone, telling the operator that "oil" was on fire. The child stated that everyone in the house was hurt, and a 10 year-old-boy was dead.

When police and firefighters arrived at the home, they found several children were burned, and a 16-month-old girl was dead. The arrest affidavit states the baby was "charred" and firefighters had to put out a fire inside the home.

The affidavit also states a 5 year-old boy had a cut-type injury on his throat, and all 3 boys in the home had burns.

The four surviving children, who are 3, 5, 8, and 9 years old, were rushed to Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs. They were later transferred to Children's Hospital in Denver and are listed in critical condition.

It goes on to say the mother, Maria Gardner (who also goes by Maria Joseph), ran from the scene with apparently self-inflicted injuries to her wrists and her neck. Those injuries were not life threatening. Gardner was taken to Penrose Main Hospital, and later moved to the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center.

Colorado Springs Police arrested Gardner Tuesday on a first degree murder charge.

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