Family in Powderhorn tragedy fighting for custody

By: Christy Dimond Email
By: Christy Dimond Email

The family of four-year-old Tyler Jensen and his two-year-old brother William are calling Tuesday night's incident at Powderhorn a "horrible shock." A custody meeting will be held tomorrow morning to determine who will gain custody of Tyler, who is currently in the state's custody.

"We're a very close knit family and we're going to make sure we see through it and make sure Tyler gets what he needs," said Robert Mathena, Tyler's step-grandfather. "It's all about him, we're just going to surround him with love and try to give him a normal life."

Emergency crews responded to a call Tuesday around 6:30 p.m., and when they arrived at the scene near the entrance to Powderhorn Resort, they found William deceased in his mother's car, and Tyler in need of medical help.

Today Robert and his wife, Diane, learned from doctors at Children's Hospital in Denver, where Tyler is being treated, that Tyler has severe liver and kidney damage and is too week to get a transplant. Doctors told family Tyler has "slim chance" of surviving.

"These are innocent babies, they should have never went through what they went through," said Diane.

The Mathenas are hoping to keep Tyler out of his mother's custody, as they believe she has repeatedly neglected her children. The Mathenas are the parents of Eric Jensen, who is Tyler and William's father. Eric died last month in a car accident.

"[The boys] mean the world to us. We lost our son last month, and this is part of him left," Robert said.

While Diane and Robert search for answers about what happened Tuesday night, Mesa County Sheriff's Department is not providing much information.

"We're at a state where it's very frustrating for the public and the community because we're not able to release a lot of the details and steps of where we're at in the investigation," said Heather Benjamin, Public Information Officer for Mesa County Sheriff's Department.


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