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Colo. mother could face harsh penalties in death of her 3-year-old

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) -- The Steamboat Springs District Attorney dropped charges against a mother after she left her 3-year-old son home alone and returned to find him dead.

Megan McKeon had been charged with child abuse. She tried to plead guilty to three misdemeanor counts in court last week.

According to police McKeon, 24, left her small cabin at a campground to go to work. She left Wednesday, March 26 and returned Thursday morning, March 27.

McKeon told detectives she had left food, juice and a movie playing for her son, Austin Davis. She told detectives she had left him home alone on a regular basis, about 20 times before.

Austins grandmother, Charity OKonski, is distraught over what happened to her grandson.

Were never going to have little Austin back again, said OKonski. But for his justice and all the family that loved him, she needs to pay for what she did.

That guilty plea would have only carried a maximum sentence of 42 months. The district attorney said that would not be sufficient punishment for the crime so he dropped the charges. He hopes to file felony child abuse resulting in death charges against McKeon.

OKonski said she would have been happy to care for Austin if she had known the circumstances.

All she had to do was call me. Theres no if, ands or buts to what happened, its her fault no matter what happened. She is accountable for that baby, said OKonski. Nothing is ever going to be enough, because he will never come back to us but she took his life away and the only way to take her life away is to let her sit behind those bars and let her think about what she did.

The district attorney is waiting for an official cause of death for Austin. The coroner and investigators are waiting for toxicology reports to come back which will take at least two weeks.

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