STERLING, Colo. — A Sterling family prepares to bury their young son Saturday afternoon.
It’s been 11 days since their 2-year-old son died in a house fire.
Chris and Julia Welton face accusations of being neglectful parents. They’re accusations they say are not true.
“It’s painful. It really is,” says Chris.
Time and weather have taken a toll on a makeshift memorial for little Levi Welton.
While cruel gossip takes its toll on the toddler’s parents.
“All of these rumors about us killing our son, needs to quit. And I’m tired of hearing them. I want to mourn about my son without all the rumors,” says Julia.
“It’s like going through hell over and over and over again,” says Chris.
Chris says the rumors started because of an erroneous news report that said their two young sons tested positive for pot.
“Everything of it. All of it was wrong,” says Chris.
Others, then, joined in with ugly comments on Facebook.
“That we had a meth lab in there…That we were locking him in a closet, when there isn’t even a door on there,” says Chris about the hurtful gossip.
Now, they’re threatening legal action for slander.
“I lost pretty much my world. I don’t even know where I’m at,” says an emotional Chris.
They lost their son, lost temporary custody of two other children during the investigation, and Chris lost his job as a plumber.
Now, they want to find some peace.
“We’re getting death threats,” says Chris.
And they hope to forget the hate.
“Who knows, someday karma will get them. They could end up being like us,” says Chris, about the people lashing out at them.
Fire investigators hope to release the cause of the fire next week.
Police would not confirm if they’re investigating the parents for any criminal charges.
Levi’s private funeral is at 2 p.m. Saturday at New Beginnings Outreach Church in Sterling.