Austin Davis was a 3-year-old boy who died alone and afraid in a cabin in rural Colorado, and police say it was his neglectful mother who caused the boy’s death.
On Tuesday, Ruott County Coroner Rob Ryg released an autopsy report for the toddler, showing that the toddler died of “severe dehydration.”
“This is represented by the electrolyte levels,” Burson wrote in his report.
He listed the boy’s manner of death as homicide, and police say it was his mother, Meghan McKeon,who left the boy alone to die of thirst.
McKeon has been arrested on two counts of felony child abuse resulting in death.
The case initially looked to be a poisoning. McKeon called police to say she found her son unresponsive, and he was pronounced dead a couple of hours later at Yampa Valley Medical Center. Doctors initially believed he may have ingested something poisonous.
But what Meghan McKeon did not tell them at the time was that she left her 3-year-old son alone in the cabin with no heat and no running water for more than four days. During that time, the mother went to work and then stayed at a boyfriend’s house.
Police said McKeon had a history of leaving her son alone for days at a time, usually without food, water, or heat. When Austin Davis died, Meghan McKeon had left him with only a movie playing.
There was initially a debate over whether the autopsy report for Austin Davis could be released, but 14th Judicial District Chief Judge Michael O’Hara ultimately ruled the release would not cause substantial injury to the public interest.
“The court concludes that petitioner has failed to carry his burden of proof that the release of this record will cause ‘substantial injury’ to a public interest,” O’Hara wrote in the ruling. “Specifically, the court finds that the possibility of a change of venue, the possibility that witnesses who have not been interviewed might become reluctant to speak to law enforcement and potential ‘public condemnation,’ do not rise to the level of substantial injury to a public interest.”
Meghan McKeon is being held on $250,000 bond in the death of her 3-year-old son Austin Davis.