Father of 5-year-old Rifle girl that died of meth overdose speaks
The father of the five-year-old Rifle girl who died of an accidental drug overdose in December spoke to us on Monday. The mother and two other family members were arrested in connection to her death.
KKCO 11 News visited the cemetery where Alec Larson laid his daughter Sophia to rest.
“‘We gotta go, we gotta go man, its Sophia’… and I didn’t know what he meant. I’m like, ‘what do you mean its Sophia?’ He’s like, ‘she’s in the hospital,’” recalls Alec Larson, Sophia’s father.
Alec made the drive to Rifle from Glenwood and learned that Sophia had died from a heart attack.
“I knew that her mom was using methamphetamine, and that’s all that my head went to,” says Alec.
The affidavit tells a story that Alec would soon piece together: Sophia woke up thirsty from a nap and took a drink of meth bong water out of a plastic bottle. Sophia’s mom Stephanie was allegedly using the drug with her two cousins.
“We all thought we were going to bury Stephanie, the route she was on,” he says.
The affidavit says Stephanie noticed Sophia acting jittery, grinding her teeth, and hallucinating, and didn’t call for help.
“Steph was more worried about me having no problem taking custody at that point and then her being in jail,” claims Alec.
Instead, police say the trio waited more than three hours, and it’s the hours in between that torment Alec.
“Stephanie showed me a voice recording that was apparently taking minutes before Sophia collapsed and died and she was begging for me, begging to call me. She wanted to talk to dad,” he says.
With mom Stephanie and two others charged on Thursday, Alec says he now can begin to grieve and turn his pain into purpose.
“I was so about this little girl and so ready to have her, and these drugs took her from me,” he says.
And by sharing Sophia’s story, Alec hopes that he can speak to those struggling with addiction.
“Sophia was my light, still is my light. And I’m hoping that by way of sharing her story and knowing what happened, she can be a light in someone else’s eyes,” explains Alec.
Instead of calling for help, the affidavit says that the three tried to exorcise demons from Sophia. It says they weren’t too concerned because other children in the family had consumed meth in the past and had been fine.
Alec says that he’s heard many similar stories in Garfield County and beyond.
The mother and the two other family members charged in connection to Sophia’s death are out on bond.