The Foster Parents Sue Longmont for $12,000

They begged social workers to save 8-year-old Sophia Mason. She was found dead in a bathtub at the family’s home in Longmont, Colorado. When investigators learned of the girl’s history, they thought it might…

The Foster Parents Sue Longmont for $12,000

They begged social workers to save 8-year-old Sophia Mason. She was found dead in a bathtub at the family’s home in Longmont, Colorado. When investigators learned of the girl’s history, they thought it might be connected to her death.

But it wasn’t. Sophia was in foster care until just before she died in March. The day of her death, her foster mother was taken to a hospital. And Sophia was playing with the foster’s 2-year-old boy.

“The child was in the bathtub, bath toys were in the tub, toys were on the floor and in the play area,” attorney Michael Chirico, who represented the foster parents, told CBS News.

The foster parents’ son was in the bathroom with Sophia when police arrived at the house. Officers said he didn’t seem to understand the threat Sophia posed to a child who was under the age of 5.

Police were called to the scene and Sophia died after they placed her in her father’s arms. She was rushed to a hospital, arriving in critical condition.

The day after the child’s death, police conducted a second house search. The search turned up an arrest warrant. They arrested the children’s mother, who police said was “consistently involved with” child abuse.

The warrant was just the beginning of a legal nightmare for the foster parents. They were locked in a legal wrangle with child services over whether Sophia’s death was murder or a crime of abuse or neglect. The foster parents said they could never raise Sophia alone.

The parents were ultimately exonerated of any wrongdoing, and the foster parents are now suing the city of Longmont for $12,000, saying local authorities didn’t properly investigate Sophia’s death.

“There was a whole lot of damage that went on,” Chirico said.

CBS News reached out to the Longmont police department, which declined to comment for this story. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation didn’t respond to CBS News requests for comment.

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