Investigators in Cleveland discovered a child’s body buried in the backyard of a family’s home after a mother led them to it. Horrifically, the remains showed signs of abuse. The authorities believed the remains belong to the mother’s own missing, disabled 5-year-old son.
The remains have yet to be positively identified as missing boy Jordan. The medical examiner will identify the body and establish the cause of death, after the Wednesday autopsy of the body.
Still, the mother, 34-year-old Larissa Rodriguez has been charged with murder on Thursday. She is scheduled to appear in Cleveland Municipal Court on Friday. It is not clear if she has an attorney already.
The authorities said Jordan died on September 22. According to the arrest affidavit submitted by a homicide detective handling the case, Rodriguez “buried the child inappropriately.” She also led the authorities Tuesday to where his body could be found.
The authorities saw broken ribs in the remains, a sign the boy was abused before he died.
Police were first tipped off about the case on Monday when they received a 911 call from the brother of Rodriguez’s boyfriend. The caller lives all the way in Pakistan. He shared to the authorities that his brother called him to inform him that he came home to find the child died several months ago. He said his brother was so distressed he even cried as he helped the mother bury her own child.
The tipster said his brother and Rodriguez didn’t call the police then.
Rodriguez, a mother of nine, has a notorious record of child abuse with local welfare officials. She has had 13 neglect or abuse negotiations since 1999. The latest was December of last year, with the case being closed in February this year.
Officials also found the home of Rodriguez “in deplorable and unsanitary condition”. The home was dirty, with an infestation of cockroaches.
Five of her nine children used to live with Rodriguez, including the missing, special child. Authorities took Rodriguez’s four children and brought them to emergency custody in foster care. Rodriguez also lost custody of two of her oldest children years ago for reasons authorities chose not to reveal yet.
A sister of the suspect, Ana Rodriguez claimed that Larissa abused the boy. She said she has attempted to notify child welfare officials numerous times before, but they only end up closing the case.
Ana Rodriguez said: “That boy was sick, that boy has special needs, premature, he needed help, and all they did was beat on the boy.”
The suspect earlier claimed that the boy who is also unable to speak, left with his aunt on December 2 to visit his father in Texas. But she said she did not know the address and phone number of the father.
Her boyfriend is currently in jail in another Ohio county on drug charges.