UPDATE: Step-grandfather: boy left in car has zero chance of survival

By: Andie Adams Email
By: Andie Adams Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The recovery of a boy hospitalized after an incident at Powderhorn has taken a devastating turn.

Doctors tell the family of Tyler Jensen that he has no chance of surviving, his step-grandfather Robert Mathena says after speaking with his step-son David on the phone.

Four-year-old Tyler is suffering from severe liver and kidney damage, and physicians say he is too weak for any transplants. The doctors discovered the degree of damage today during an MRI.

Mathena tells KKCO 11 News that Tyler’s uncle, David, was supposed to have a hearing tomorrow to ask for custody of Tyler, but that has been canceled.


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – The four year old who was hospitalized in an incident at Powderhorn Tuesday continues his recovery at a Denver hospital.

Tyler's step-grandfather, Robert Mathena, tells KKCO 11 News that the boy has woken up and is responsive. The doctors discovered Tyler has liver damage, and they should know more after his MRI this morning, according to Mathena.

Tyler Jensen is in intensive care at Children’s Hospital in Denver.

On multiple Facebook comments, Tyler's mother, Heather, says he was poisoned by carbon monoxide. However, Tyler's brother, William, died in the same incident, and the Mesa County Coroner’s Office has not released William's cause of death yet, so carbon monoxide has not been confirmed as the cause.

On her page, Heather says Tyler may be taken off life support today.

Another Facebook page called “Prayer Train for Tyler Jensen” claims he is in critical condition.

A spokesperson for Children’s Hospital says Tyler is not listed on the patient registry. However, she qualified that statement by saying there are instances where patients are listed as private, so no information can be released.

As for the circumstances surrounding the incident, the Mesa County Sheriff's Office still has released little information.

"Once the cause and manner is released, a lot more information would make sense, and pieces would fall together for the public. We are not at that point, though," Heather Benjamin, a spokesperson for the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, told KKCO's sister station KUSA on Wednesday.


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – New details are emerging about the death of a child last night at Powderhorn.

Two-year-old William Jensen died Tuesday night inside a red Toyota 4Runner that was on Powderhorn Drive off of Highway 65, according to the boy’s step-grandfather Robert Mathena.

William’s four-year-old brother, Tyler, was in the vehicle with him. Tyler was rushed to a local hospital on the CareFlight helicopter, and then he was transferred to Children’s Hospital in Denver where he has been placed on life support. His condition is unknown.

Mathena believes their mother, Heather, left Tyler and William in the running vehicle, where they were either suffocated or poisoned by carbon monoxide, he says.

Mathena is the step-father of Eric Jensen—the boys’ father—who died in a car accident in Rifle on Oct. 10, 2012.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is waiting on the coroner to release William’s cause of death. After that, investigators will know how best to proceed with the case.

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