Failed to Death: Daisai Derzon

8:32 PM, Nov 13, 2012   |    comments
Daisai Derzon
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 PDF Document: fatality derzon  PDF Document: arrest affidavit derson

Age: 3 yrs.
Born: Aug 11, 2004
Died: Jan 12, 2008
Location: Grand Lake
Suspect in death: Michelle Baber, foster parent

As new foster parents, Michelle and Robert Baber had received glowing reports from a court guardian and social services workers. About a half year after they took in Daisai and her brothers, the Babers were approved to adopt the children.

Before that adoption could be finalized, Michelle Baber called 911 in January, 2008, to report she found her then-3½-year-old foster daughter, who"does weird stuff in her sleep," pounding her head against a wall. Three days later, Daisai was dead of a closed-head injury after being removed from life support.

For weeks, Michelle Baber stuck to the"sleepwalking" story before adding theories that Daisai might have hurt herself when she slipped in a bathtub or that Baber might have dropped Daisai while carrying her. Fifteen days after Daisai died, Michelle Baber finally admitted that she had struck Daisai in the head.

At her sentencing - 16 years in prison for child abuse resulting in death - Michelle Baber's attorney said her client suffered from a major depressive disorder.

After Daisai's death, questions were raised by the state Child Fatality Review Team about the appropriateness of Daisai's placement and the supervision of the foster parents by a contracting agency working with the Montezuma County Department of Social Services. That agency shut down two weeks after Daisai's death before the state could complete an investigation of the agency. Another contract agency took over the child placements in that part of the state.

The review team found no violations on the part of the county child protection workers.

Read the Arrest Affidavit

Read the Fatality Review

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