A Cleveland mother led investigators to a child’s body buried in the backyard of her home on Tuesday, Dec. 9.
The body is believed to be of her 5-year-old missing disabled son, Jordan, according to court records obtained by Cleveland.com. The body reportedly showed multiple signs of abuse including injuries such as broken ribs.
Thirty-four-year-old Larissa Maria Rodriguez was taken into custody. According to CBS News, she will be charged with murder and felonious assault on Thursday, Dec. 21.
As of writing, the remains have not been fully confirmed yet, but even without the official identification courts records state that the body was Jordan’s.
According to Cleveland.com, the discovery began when the brother of Larissa’s boyfriend, Christopher Rodriguez, tipped-off police telling them the couple had buried the child in their backyard two months ago, after finding him unresponsive.
The brother, who was not named, called 911 to report the crime on Monday, Dec. 18, from Pakistan.
“He said, when I came home, the kid was already dead,” the caller told a dispatcher, according to a recording of the call obtained by CBS affiliate WOIO.
The brother told 911 that the boyfriend cried as he helped his girlfriend bury the body.
“He told me that something happened with one of the kids and they didn’t call the cops. Basically him and his girlfriend buried the kid in the backyard,” he said.
Investigators responded to the call by visiting Larissa’s home. On the day they did not find anything until the FBI and medical examiner continued the search on Tuesday, where they dug for three hours before finding the remains, CBS News reported.
The child’s aunt, Ana Rodriguez, said she had previously reported her sister and her boyfriend several times. She said she’d seen him tied up in the corner with a sock in his mouth in one case, according to Cleveland.com.
In another case, Ana said a friend told her she saw Jordan “nearly dead” in a closet. She said she contacted Job and Family Services after her friend told her what happened.
“I lived with them,” Ana Rodriguez told Cleveland.com. “He was in danger.”
The aunt said Jordan’s developmental disabilities made him unable to speak.
“That boy was special needs, premature,” Ana Rodriguez said. “He needed help. And all they did was [expletive] beat on him for no reason.”
Larissa Rodriguez first told police that her son was in Houston, Texas, visiting his biological father and that his aunt picked him up. However, she could not give police any contact information of the father or aunt.
According to Cleveland.com, she was a mother of 9 and had a long history with local child welfare officials. In total, there were 13 neglect or abuse investigations on the her since 1999. The latest was in December 2016 and was closed in February.
Court records paint a picture of a neglected home, infested with rats and cockroaches.