CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming man accused of manslaughter in the death of a missing 13-month-old boy allowed him to be exposed to methamphetamine before the boy died, prosecutors charge.
A criminal complaint released Monday charges Logan Hunter Rogers, 23, of Cheyenne with involuntary manslaughter and child endangering with a controlled substance in the death of Silas Anthony Ojeda of Cheyenne.
Wyoming authorities plan to start searching a landfill in Ault, Colorado, for Ojeda's body on Tuesday.
Capt. Linda Gesell of the Laramie County Sheriff's Office said Monday that her office has secured a search warrant for the landfill and was moving trailers and other resources to the scene.
Rogers remains jailed in Cheyenne with bail set at $500,000 cash. He had a hearing by video camera from a local jail before Circuit Court Judge Denise Nau on Monday afternoon.
Nau told Rogers that conviction on the manslaughter charge could carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison while the child endangering charge could carry up to five years.
Rogers said he wants to apply for a public defender to represent him. Nau set a preliminary hearing for Nov. 9, at which she's scheduled to rule if he should stand trial.
Detective Ryan Martinez of the Laramie County Sheriff's Office made a sworn statement to support the felony charges against Rogers. Martinez's statement gives the following account:
The boy's grandfather, Richard Ojeda of Cheyenne, called authorities on Oct. 26 to report his grandson missing.
Rogers, the boyfriend of Ojeda's mother, Rhiannon Ojeda, on Oct. 26 told investigators that he had turned the boy over to another man on Saturday. He said the man, whom he identified only as "Santiago," had taken the boy because he intended to take him fishing and camping for a couple of days.
Rogers later told investigators that he hadn't been honest about "Santiago" taking the boy, but then said members of a motorcycle club had taken him. Rogers then said the boy had died Oct. 20 after falling from a counter at the family home and that Rogers put his body in a trash container at a local community college. Trash from the container goes to Colorado.
Investigators searched the trash container and Rhiannon Ojeda's vehicle. Two dogs certified to search for the odor of human cadavers alerted to the vehicle and to the trash container.
Investigators talked to Rogers again on Oct. 27. He told them he had taken the boy to a friend's house on Oct. 20 where people smoked methamphetamine near the boy.
Rogers became concerned that the boy had been exposed to methamphetamine because the boy became hot to the touch. Rogers gave the boy a long bath at his friend's house before leaving to make methamphetamine deliveries to others.
Martinez concluded his statement by stating he believes Silas Ojeda suffered abuse and died at home. Martinez said he believes that Rogers dumped the boy's body in a trash container at the community college.