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Pueblo family finds out about son's death through Facebook

By Lila Hollin, Telemundo Anchor/Pueblo Bureau Reporter, l.hollin@krdo.com
Published On: Jul 13 2013 08:43:41 PM CDT

Family finds out about loved one's death through Facebook.

PUEBLO, Colo. -

A Pueblo family learned about its son's death through Facebook.

With her son's class ring in her hand and tears in her eyes, Veronica Eitemiller musters the strength to talk about her son Michael Bailey.

"I don't want to be angry right now, I want to mourn my child," said Eitemiller.

Bailey died the day before he turned 19.

The shooting happened Monday night off of Creston Drive around 11:30 p.m. He was pronounced dead until 12:31 a.m.

"I held him during his first breaths, I should have been holding him during his last one, and that was taken away from me," said Eitemiller.

She didn't find out Bailey died until 12 hours later, when her other son called her. 

He told her people were posting rest-in-peace comments on Bailey's Facebook page.

"You hear things on social media, and I didn't know if people were playing a cruel joke on me because I didn't hear anything," said Eitemiller.

She called Bailey, but he didn't answer. Before going to the police, she called Parkview Medical Center.

"They just told me they had no record of him," said Eitemiller.

So she went to police.

"I just kept asking is he dead?" said  Eitemiller.

They confirmed her fears.

Eitemiller said Bailey was staying at his friend's house, where he took an old gun to a party.

The house where the shooting happened was less than 100 feet from Eitemiller's home.  Police ruled his death as an accidental shooting, where drugs and alcohol may have been a factor.

"That has nothing to do with not contacting the next of kin," said  Eitemiller.

 She feels the system failed her.

Now, Eitemiller is searching for strength, during our interview, she found it by holding on to his class ring.

"He just got this, we got it made for him," said  Eitemiller.

Bailey was the first person in his family to graduate from high school.

"He was a hard worker," said  Eitemiller.

No one was available over the weekend to comment from the police department, but we will keep trying.

A spokesperson from Parkview Medical Center said Bailey came in as a John Doe, meaning he didn't have identification.

KRDO has an interview scheduled with hospital officials next week.

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