Livid grandmother, uncle of dead 5-year-old speak out

6:40 PM, Nov 11, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - Hours before Colorado Springs Police say they found the body of a five-year-old boy inside a smoldering apartment, a fresh entry went onto the boy's mother's Facebook page. There was only one word on the November 8th entry.

"Fini," it read.

Later on this week, prosecutors are likely to charge that boy's mother with first-degree murder. Shannon Dodson, 42, remains in custody after police arrested her over the weekend. Police say Jude Murray-Gomez died not from the fire but as a result of "drowning."

The boy's paternal grandmother had custody of the child and calls the events of the last few days a "nightmare without end." 

"He was a dear, little boy. He was just a sweet, little boy, and we miss him dearly," said Jillian Gomez on Monday.

Court records indicate Shannon Dodson was allowed to see her boy "three weekends a month." Jillian Gomez said she went to pick up her grandson from Dodson's apartment on the afternoon of November 3rd. The time was part of a pre-arranged agreement. Neither Shannon nor Jude were there. 

She said she immediately notified the Colorado Springs Police, but was told it was a "civil matter" and would have to ask for help from the courts. Calls to Colorado Springs Police on Monday were not immediately returned.

Jillian Gomez said Colorado Springs Police went to the apartment on Wednesday, November 6th. It's unclear what, if anything, they found or if they even went inside. Two days later, Colorado Springs firefighters responded to the apartment on a fire call. The boy's body was found inside. 

"There was a lack of sincere effort to help us find this boy," said Jillian Gomez.

Gomez's son, the boy's uncle, was much more direct. "Why didn't we get an Amber Alert?" asked Juan Gomez. "There was nothing. (As of Wednesday) the boy had missed two days of school. Even teachers were concerned about this," he said. 

"This was preventable on so many levels," he said. "Who dropped the ball?"

Court records suggest Shannon Dodson was in and out of homeless shelters frequently and had lived in "10 different locations in the last five years." A court-appointed guardian for the boy found Dodson to have "possible mental health issues" and recommended a mental health evaluation. 

"She was unpredictable. You didn't know what she was doing. You didn't know where she was going to live," said Juan Gomez.

Yet until this last week, he said, he and Jillian Gomez never thought Shannon Dodson was capable of possibly murdering her son. "We were generous with her (and her time) with Jude. We told her she could have Thanksgiving and Christmas," said Jillian Gomez.

Shannon Dodson's sister posted a statement on Monday on her Facebook page that urged members of the press to leave her family alone. "We don't want to talk to you about my sister or my nephew. We are trying to deal with a lot and the messages you're sending with hollow condolences are not appreciated or welcome. Let us be. Please stop," it read. 

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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