- Associated Press - Monday, March 14, 2016

DENVER (AP) - The father of a 5-year-old Denver boy whose mother shot him while they were visiting family in Montana said he had tried for months to convince Colorado child welfare workers that his son was not safe with his mother.

Ken Kreuscher told The Denver Post (https://dpo.st/1QY66J9 ) that he and Sara Atkinson had been involved in a yearslong custody battle over their son, Kenny, and that child welfare workers had been involved.

Kreuscher said he told caseworkers that Atkinson was growing increasingly paranoid, believed there were cameras and bombs in her house, and that she had threatened to kill the boy and herself.

“She said, ‘I’m going to kill myself. I’m going to take him with me,’” Kreuscher said.

Officials say Atkinson, 41, did just that on March 5, shooting the boy in the head with a rifle as he slept at his grandfather’s house in Roundup, Montana, before turning the gun on herself.

Kreuscher said he and Atkinson shared custody of the boy, who would have turned 6 this month.

Denver County child welfare officials declined to comment about the specifics of the case, citing privacy laws.

“The loss of this child is an absolute tragedy for this family, their loved ones and friends, and for our community and agency,” said Julie Smith, spokeswoman for the county human services department, which includes child welfare. “We are working to understand the circumstances surrounding this horrible act.”

The Colorado human services department is required to review any death of a child who had previous involvement in the child welfare system. The most recent case on the review list is a 5-year-old boy whose death was reported to the state on March 8.

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Information from: The Denver Post, https://www.denverpost.com


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