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The violent death of a dream and a child–How you can help this Colorado family

It is every mom’s worst nightmare to lose a child. Add that to the death of a dream, a drug-fueled crime scene in Mexico and federal murder charges and you have a tragedy beyond comprehension.

Jen Charrette is a Colorado mom. Though we have connected online and on the phone, I have never met her but as an outdoor, competitive-bike-racing mom, I have followed her adventures at her blog, Velo Mom and on Facebook. She and her husband Randy recently sold Peak to Peak Bicyles in Ridgeway and in October, embarked on an open-ended journey with their two young sons–7-year-old Kalden and 2-year-old Axel. Because Jen works online for a multinational technology corporation, they envisioned becoming digital nomads while exploring the world with their family.

Quite simply, they were living the dream–something I envied them for and have loved following their adventures.

But this is where the dream ends. They have been living in a rented house in Sayulita, Mexico, north of Puerto Vallerta, when a nightmare unfolded. Though not ready to talk about it publicly, the Charrettes released a statement to The Watch, a Ridgeway-area newspaper.

“What you are about to read will be difficult to hear – and trust us, it’s unimaginable to experience and to tell. As you know we were in Mexico. Through our Canadian landlord we had hired a woman and her daughter to help around the house.

On February 28th, the daughter, our babysitter, let her boyfriend into the walled property. She soon realized he was in a violent, drug-induced state. Out of fear, she locked herself in a bathroom, leaving Axel outside. Kalden was inside playing games. The boyfriend, for reasons unknown, hurt Axel, then threw him in the pool, leaving him to drown.

The babysitter was arrested, eventually told the police what happened, and the boyfriend was subsequently arrested. They now face federal murder charges in Mexico City. Our contact at the State Department informs us that our case is Mexico’s number one priority right now. There are no words to express our grief – but we wanted you to know what happened because the truth, as horrible as it may be, is important. Thank you for all your support and everything you have done and continue to do.”

A memorial service for Axel will be held at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway on Tuesday, March 12, at 6 p.m. A fund has been set up in Axel Charrette’s name at Alpine Bank in Ridgway, for anyone wishing to contribute. Axel Charrette Fund, c/o Alpine Bank, 119 Liddell Drive, Ridgway, CO 81432. Alpine Bank Contact: Jamie Nixon 970-626-4100.

Moms–not all of us will be able to contribute money but here is something we can all do. Jen “Velo Mom” has been nominated as one of Circle of Moms’ Top 25 Outdoorsy Moms 2013. Please take just a few seconds to vote for her and spread the word. You may vote daily through March 27, 2013.

Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

11 Comments

  1. This is beyond unbelievable. My heart and prayers go out to this family.

  2. This is the kind of thing you only hear about on the news. Poor little Axel. I can’t stop thinking about it and crying. 🙁

  3. I read about this! How tragic! Praying for this family!

  4. That is so tragic, my heart and prayers go out to the family.

  5. My heart and soul goes out to this family and i soooooo hope one day they can remember Axel, and have a smile on their face rather than tears.

  6. Thanks for getting the word out. It’s great to see so many people coming together to support this wonderful family during this tragic time.

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