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9Wants to Know more after toddler's death

7:18 PM, Jan 16, 2014   |    comments
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STERLING - The 2-year-old boy who died in a fire inside his parent's rental home in Sterling earlier in the week had been living with foster parents as recently as last month.

Levi Welton was not breathing and unconscious when Sterling firefighters pulled him out from within his bedroom's closet on Monday night. 9Wants to Know has learned the boy was returned to his biological parents in December.

The boy's mother, Julia Welton, told 9Wants to Know she had rectified many of Logan County Human Services' concerns prior to the fire and called the events of Monday night "an accident." The Sterling fire chief has repeatedly told 9NEWS that while an exact cause has yet to be determined, there is nothing to indicate anything suspicious about it.

"We have no idea what happened," Welton said. She said she's devastated by the death of her son. "I've cried. I can't sleep at night because every time I fall asleep, I dream of [Levi]," she said.

A spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Human Services said a "fatality review" had not yet been ordered in the case because it was not yet clear what started the fire. Fatality reviews are now ordered as a matter of state law when a child once under the supervision of a county human services department dies as a result of abuse or neglect.

Welton told 9Wants to Know reporter Chris Vanderveen she uses marijuana for medical reasons, but said she never smoked around her children and did everything she could to keep them away from the now-legal drug. Sources tell Vanderveen part of the county's concern with Welton and her husband, Chris Welton, was ongoing marijuana use within the house.

Levi's 4-year old brother was also home at the time of the fire. He escaped unharmed and is currently living with a family relative in Nebraska. The father suffered burns on his hands after he said he tried to go into Levi's bedroom.

The Logan County Coroner said the cause of Levi's death remains undetermined, adding his office is awaiting the results of a routine toxicology test in order to come to any conclusion.

If you have any information on this story or any other story under investigation by 9News please contact Chris at chris.vanderveen@9news.com

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