Shannon Dodson found naked in smoking apartment, allegedly admitted to drowning child
|Big photos, video below.|
According to records accessed by 9News, Dodson, 42, had a history of homelessness -- and at least one guardian appointed to oversee care of young Jude cited "possible mental health issues" and suggested she undergo a psychological evaluation.
If such an analysis was undertaken, information about it has yet to surface. But we know that while custody of Gomez-Murray was officially held by his grandmother, Jillian Gomez, Dodson was allowed visitation rights three days a month.
One such get-together was supposed to end on November 3, with Dodson returning the boy to his grandma at a prearranged time. But when the hour struck, Dodson wasn't there. In response, Jillian contacted the Colorado Springs Police Department, but she tells 9News the cops said they couldn't get involved in a civil matter and referred her to the court system.
As of this writing, the CSPD hasn't commented on this claim.
Then, on Friday, November 8, authorities responded to a report of a fire at Hill Park Apartments, at 4320 East Pike Avenue in the Springs:
Inside was Jude's body, prompting the arrest of Dodson on suspicion of first-degree murder, for reasons that became clear on Sunday. That's when the Colorado Springs Gazette reported that the coroner had determined the boy's cause of death was drowning.
The Hill Park Apartments.
This conclusion added to the ominous nature of Dodson's final Facebook post, on a page that now appears to have been deleted. On Friday, she reportedly wrote a single word: "Fini" -- the French word for "finished."
An old Myspace portrait of Dodson.
Dodson was already scheduled to appear in court this week. According to KRDO-TV, a hearing was on the books in order to hear arguments by the boy's father, Jude Thaddeus Gomez, who'd filed a custody petition late last year. Instead, she'll likely face formal murder charges.
In the meantime, questions linger, including one posed by Juan Gomez, Jude's uncle, in conversation with 9News. "This was preventable on so many levels," he stated before asking, "Who dropped the ball?"
Here's a larger look at a Dodson mug shot, followed by the latest 9News package on the case.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa April 2011: "Shannon Johnson gets 10 years after infant son drowned in bath as she played Facebook game."