Last month Danita Tutt was sentenced to five years in prison for the attempted murder of her son Colby. Media coverage of crime provided only small nuggets or crumbs of details about the crime. Her supporters painted Danita as the loving and devoted mom. Critics and the district attorney portrayed Danita as a manipulative, cunning woman addicted to the attention and money associated with having a dying child. Today we spoke with Danita’s former best friend, Tara DeMott, and we have new details about Danita’s sick and twisted crime she perpetrated against her son.
Tara says she met Danita in the eighth grade, but the two didn’t become close until 2011. She said they reconnected after Tara realized their children attended school in the same district. Tara also realized that her husband and Dania’s husband were coworkers. Quickly, she and Danita became fast friends.
The two women spent nearly all of their free time together. Tara said she devoted hours of her day to helping Danita search for funding for medications, medical bills, and items not covered by insurance for Colby.
During Colby’s decline, Tara said she spent most of her nights at the hospital to pray with Danita. Throughout the whole experience, Tara admits she had no idea that Danita was harming Colby.
However, Tara says today she looks back at messages she and Danita exchanged in April 2016, and she now can see the monster hidden deep inside of Danita.
In April 2016, Tara along with a group of women organized a benefit for Colby and the Tutt family. Danita told friends Colby’s medical bills were crippling them financially. Eager to help, the group of women worked together to arrange music, a silent auction, and a venue for the event.
While the friends worked tirelessly to arrange the event, Tara says Colby ‘s health declined, and Danita told friends his death was near. During one evening in April, Tara decided to check in with Danita. Tara said that Colby was in the hospital. According to text messages the two exchanged, Danita said the admission was related to Colby a blood infection in his central line.
According to Danita, Colby was so sick that surgery to remove the infected line would kill Colby. Tara said the infection was from a central line Danita had doctors place to manage Colby’s pain.
Danita went on to tell Tara that Colby’s heath was so grave she and her husband picked out a casket for Colby. Then Danita abruptly switches the subject to bring up the benefit Tara and friends were planning.
In fact, in the midst what should have been a horrifically painful time for any mother, Danita dedicated numerous conversations to discussing the benefit for Colby.
Perhaps the most stunning aspect of these statements by Danita is her ability to switch topics so quickly. In one sentence she says, “no one is watching him day in and day out like me. My baby is slowly dying, and it breaks my heart.”
Then she completely switches topics and says, “I honestly think God wants us to get to this benefit next week.”
While a mother is watching her son slipping away, she is thinking about a financial benefit for her family.
When Tara looks back on these messages, she says she believes Danita was financially motivated. Tara said that every time Colby got a trip, wish, or gift, Danita often told her that she hoped Colby would hang on until he received the gift. Miraculously, Colby always managed to hang on to receive the items that Danita desired.
During the time Danita was harming Colby, he got a trip to Disney, the WWE sent a superstar to his home and drove Colby by limo to a WWE event, and friends threw a benefit for the family that raised Danita thousands of dollars.
Additionally, Tara says Danita’s church stocked her house full of meals. Concerned friends dropped off gift cards for the family. Colby received endless gifts from a community that rallied around him during his supposed final days.
When she looks back at all the outpouring of love and support the Tutt’s received, Tara gets sick thinking Danita was slowly killing Colby.Tara’s voice when she speaks about Colby cracks and she is ripe with emotion. She says she and her family loved Colby, and she wishes she knew then what she knows now about his mother. Tara regrets that she couldn’t protect Colby from Danita.
One conversation still haunts Tara. The day Danita admitted to her that she wanted Colby to die. The exchange between the two was brief, but it sends shivers down her spine.
Danita admitted to Tara Colby weighed only 54 pounds at the time. Tara says he was too weak to walk, and Colby spent most of his time laying on a couch.
Within weeks of exchanging these texts, an anonymous tip was made to Colby’s hospice team that Danita was starving her son. The hospice team contacted Child Protective Services to investigate the claims. Within days, Danita lost custody of her two sons.
Tara says that because she and Danita were best friends several in the community accused her of making the CPS call. However, Tara admits she never contacted any authorities about Danita or Colby.
Shortly after Danita lost custody of Colby and her younger son Colton, Tara said investigators and the District Attorney interviewed her. Over several weeks of conversations, she says she realized that Danita had lied to her, the community, and most importantly almost killed Colby.
When Tara made this realization, she said her entire life fell apart. Because she did not support Danita, friends and even her children turned against her.
However, Tara did not let anyone’s anger detract her from helping Colby. Her priority turned to help police and the district attorney prepare a case against Danita. She handed over her phone, laptop, and bank records to aid in their investigation.
When I asked her why worked with authorities, her answer was simple. She said, “I couldn’t help Colby when he needed me the most. I was going to make sure his mom could not hurt him anymore.”
Thanks to her effort and the hard work of investigators and the district attorney, Tara met her goal of helping Colby when Danita was sentenced to prison. Even though Tara is now estranged from Colby, she feels at ease knowing his mother can’t hurt him anymore.
She said that even though her life fell apart helping Colby, she is relieved because she learned Colby is now thriving and healthy away from Danita. Knowing that Colby is doing well is all that matters to her.
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