Colton Brandt Turner Pelfrey
September 21, 2011 - July 7, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial

In July of 2014, Colton Brandt Turner died while in the care of his mother, 20 year old Meagan Work and her boyfriend, 29 year old Michael Brandt Turner. A friend of Meagan's called Police on September 10th to let them know that she had seen pictures of Colton and he had many bruises on his body, the woman said that she feared Colton was being abused. Police contacted Meagan who told them that Colton was being taken care of by a friend in another town. When Police contacted that friends, they learned that Meagan had told that friend that Colton was being taken care of by family members. When Police once again questioned Meagan about the obvious lies she had told, Meagan told them that Colton had been taken from her truck when she left him alone for a few minutes outside of a hotel room. Meagan said that Colton's purple blanket had also been taken. That was not the last lie Meagan would tell, since she then changed her story again and said that she had given her son to a couple she didn't know, while they were at a fast food restaurant.

Michael Turner, who is not Colton's biological father, was in jail on unrelated charges, was questioned and he said that he treated Colton as though he were his own son. Michael first told Police that Meagan had given Colton to a couple at a fast food restaurant before he finally told the truth, Colton was dead. At about 2:30 p.m. that day, Michael took Police to a shallow grave where Colton was buried, he was wrapped in his purple blanket and buried under a pile of wood covered with a piece of sheetrock. After a 12 hour excavation, the body of Colton was found.

After Colton was found, Meagan changed her story and said that Colton had hit his head an air conditioner at the motel and that he had fallen after being beaten or what she called assaulted, on July 6. Meagan said that Colton was having trouble walking after and that later in the afternoon he started having trouble breathing. An affidavit said that both Michael and Meagan knew that Colton was in big trouble and it was getting worse, but they didn't know how to get him help without getting into trouble themselves. Meagan told Detectives that she went to sleep about at 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. on the 7th and when she woke up, Colton was dead.

Rather than call Police or try to get other help, Michael and Meagan waited until that night to take Colton's body to the place where Michael dug a grave and when it was decided it was not deep enough, they took Colton's body back to the motel room until the next night. On July 8, 2014, Michael buried Colton while Meagan waited in the car for him. Tests were being done to find out the cause of death and the case was being treated as a homicide. Michael and Meagan were charged with tampering with physical evidence:

"There's no reason in the world why it should have happened and regardless of, you know,
how that little boy died, there is no excuse for him ending up in a shallow grave in a field next
to a pile of garbage in Southeast Austin"
Police Chief - Sean Mannix

Bond was set for the couple in the amount of $250,000. each and a court date was set for September 23, 2014. Child Protective Services was said to have been involved with the family in the past and an internal review was taking place. Meagan was said to be four months pregnant at the time of her arrest and had been living in her car or staying with friends.

Meagan's friend, Xenia K., said she had known her since they were in the 6th grade and that her heart was breaking for what Colton had gone through:

"I went to his 1st birthday party and I never had the money to buy him a gift and he asked me
if I wanted cake and I just fell in love with him because he was too smart"

Xenia said that she had tried to get Meagan a job:

"I recommended her to Whataburger, to my boyfriend's work and she had come over and she
was supposed to come for her interview to be hired with the rest of the paperwork on Thursday
and she never showed"

Xenia had wanted to take Meagan and Colton out for his birthday which was coming up and Meagan wouldn't look at her and just avoided talking about it so she let it go. Xenia now just wants to support Colton's family:

"I want to be there for her family because it does hit home with me because I have lost a child.
From my own experience, losing a child, it is hard. It isn't going to be easy, you're still always
going to have those moments time to time being sad. I really want to help her and now I can't,
she's got to face it herself"

Hundreds of people came together to remember Colton with a prayer vigil, days after his body was found.

During his short time here, Colton was able to touch others and while Sue Anne Spry did not know much about him, she knew that he was a delight to be around. Sue Anne was friends with Colton's baby sitter and at times, the baby sitter would bring Colton to her house:

"He was a beautiful child. He was like any two year old. He loved to play and hang out with my
daughters. They are teenagers and they doted on him. I saw no physical signs on him at all"

At some point, Colton no longer came around and Sue Anne said it was sad and she missed him. Sue Anne then saw on Facebook that Colton was missing and then she learned that his body had been found. Sue Anne is the Manager at Cook- Walden Davis Funeral Home and she decided that was going to help in the planning of his funeral and a fund was set up online to get donations to cover the cost. A Go Fund Me account was set up and within three days the goal of $10,000. was already met. Money from the fund will cover a casket, obituary and a grave while services will be covered by the funeral home. Sue Anne wanted to be sure his headstone was one that would honor him:

"I want to get him a beautiful outstanding marker with his pictures on it, that will honor his life
and be there forever"

It is hard to understand reports that say pictures of bruises and injuries that Colton suffered had been on Meagan's Face- book page for months and no one reported them. In Texas, the law says that anyone who has knowledge of child abuse must report it and if it is discovered that someone knew and didn't report it, they face criminal charges.  Police admit that they rarely charge anyone with that crime:

"In my opinion, failure to report child abuse is a frequent occurrence. As a society, we tend to value
privacy and the right to parent without government intervention. Unfortunately, this adult centered
approach can lead many people to choose to stay out of situations where children are being hurt"
Monika Faulkner - Director of Child And Family Research Institute


In Memory of Colton Turner Pelfrey
September 21, 2011 - September 12, 2014

Colton Turner Pelfrey, age 2, was born on September 21, 2011 in Cedar Park. He was a sweet little boy full of life. He loved the great outdoors, playing in the mud and water with his daddy, and getting into things that boys do. His favorite movie was 'Planet of the Apes' and he enjoyed going to the park. His precious life was taken too soon.

Colton is preceded in death by his grandmother Talyeen Work and great-grandfather, Robert Pelfrey.

Those left behind to cherish his memory are his father, Brandon Pelfrey of Bertram; grandparents, Kim and David Vidaure of Bertram, Sid Work and Marla Morgan of Austin, and David and Trina Pelfrey of Indiana; great-grandparents, Larry and Sue Cantrell of Briggs, Betty and Paul Cunningham of Leander, Donna Pelfrey of Indiana, Mary Viduare of Georgetown, Nikki Dunford of Jacksonville, James Wallmack of Troop, Clifferd Work of Jacksonville, and Jeri Jean Wunch of Bastrop; godmother, Brianna Spieldenner of Georgetown; and his Mimi, Jessica Click of Cedar Park. He is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Visitation and Funeral Services are currently pending with Cook-Walden/Davis Funeral Home.

Thank you to Lisa for allowing me to honor this little Angel with a memorial page on my site by sending me his story.

UPDATE: March 5, 2015

The court date which was originally set for September of 2014, was moved to October 30, 2014. Darla Davis was representing Meagan Work and William White was representing Michael Turner. Doing a check today, I am unable to find anything that says they actually went to court.

In March of 2015, just six months after Colton was found dead, an investigation was completed and it resulted in three Child Protective Services employees losing their jobs. The Health And Human Services Commission's Office Of the Inspector General had investigated the allegations that a CPS Program Director, Supervisor and Child Welfare Investigator did not follow proper procedures that were outlined in the CPS policies handbook. It was established that while some policies were followed, the CPS employees did not locate the child's family, they failed to provide adequate guidance to the staff and failed to follow up with staff.

The same report revealed that a CPS investigator, Diana Cortinaz, had learned about pictures that showed injuries to Colton's head and back, but failed to get those pictures and also did not initiate the investigation or make sincere efforts to find the family or take steps that were required in the event that a complete investigation could not be completed. Diana had been to Facebook and had seen the pictures of Colton's injuries, the bruises and scrapes on his face, the black eye and the head injuries, she did not save the pictures and made no attempts to find out where Colton was.

A Supervisor and a Program Director failed to provide proper guidance as for how to use the CPS handbook to ensure the safety of the child. Liza DeLeon spoke with investigatgors and said that she was following directives in which she was focusing her attention on backlogged cases that were over 60 days old. Program Director Liza Nash would not allow an interview, however, her notes show that she was aware that Colton was in trouble and that he had not been seen and she did not follow up with Diana to make sure that her instructions had been followed and made no attempts to find out if the family had been found.

UPDATE: April 14, 2015

In April of 2015, Meagan Work and Michael Turner were in court for their first appearance. Colton's family was sitting in the front row when Meagan walked in and was said to a smirk on her face. Coltan's Great Aunts, Diane Battles and Raquel Helfrich were there at the hearing:

"The way she looked in the court room today, she feels like she's
done nothing wrong. You could tell by the smile on her face"
Dian Battles

"The fact that she could do all of that and not have any regard at
all for what did to Colton, it's infuriating to watch considering what
he went through"
Raquel Helfrich

Meagan ignored her family and Colton's father as though they weren't even there. Meagan and Michael were there for a status check since neither had been arraigned and each had been in jail for six months. Judge David Wahlberg listened as the Prosecutor said that they are waiting for evidence to be turned over to the Defense Lawyers and a new hearing date was set for May 11, which is apparently Meagan's birthday:

"That's exactly what she should get for her birthday and the
punishment that she's got coming"
Raquel Halfrich

Judge Wahlberg said if the was to go to trial, it would probably begin in the month of December of 2015.Prosecutors hinted to the family that a deal might be in the making, telling Colton's father and Grandmother that they were considering an amount of time to offer the couple as a plea deal:

"I keep telling myself that they keep setting it back because they need
to be able to charge her and sentence her to the max. We will fight until
justice is served for Colton, the justice he deserves"
Diane Battles

A law called Colton's Law or HB2053 was said to be the first step in getting justice. The bill passed unanimously through the House Committee on Juvenile Justice and Family issues just a week before I am posting this update and it will now move to the House floor to be voted on.

Death occurred in the state of Texas
This page was created on October 1, 2014

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