A woman and her boyfriend pleaded guilty in the murder of her 5-year-old son in Cleveland, Ohio.
On Dec. 19, investigators found the remains of Jordan Rodriguez behind a house on West 80th Street in Cleveland. His mother, 34-year-old Larissa Rodriguez, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, and her boyfriend, 36-year-old Christopher Rodriguez, was sentenced to 28 years, Fox 8 reported. They were charged with murder, felonious assault, endangering children, and offenses against a human corpse.
Cleveland police say officers first started investigating Jordan’s disappearance and alleged murder Dec. 18, after receiving a tip from Pakistan from the brother of Larissa’s boyfriend, Scott Rodriguez, Cleveland 19 reported.
Jordan’s body showed signs of abuse, prosecutors said. He weighed 15 pounds and had several broken bones.
“Based on the investigation, the State believes the Ms. Rodriguez failed to seek medical treatment for her son who is already suffering from multiple and physical infirmaries,” said Brian Murphy of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office after Jordan was found, according to Cleveland19.
“The boy died as a result of her disregard and was found buried in the backyard.”
In April, Larissa pleaded guilty to trafficking food stamps, telecommunications fraud, grand theft and money laundering. She was sentenced to six years in prison. Larissa had sold $10,000 worth of her food stamps to a family social services worker from Catholic Charities between July 2015 to December 2017. Larissa took 50 cents for every $1 of her food stamp benefits, which totaled over $10,000. The social services worker involved, Nancy Caraballo, received a 3-year prison term. The women are required to also repay the cost of the food stamps.
Prosecutors believe Larissa made the deals so that the caseworker would not report signs of abuse and neglect of Jordan, Fox 8 reported. Prosecutors said the boy, who was nonverbal and suffered from multiple ailments, failed to receive medical attention that his mother should have sought for him.
Tears from Larissa Rodriguez as a prosecutor reads a statement from family members who miss 5-year-old Jordan. He was a “sweet soul” family members say. https://t.co/ZqqTvPsRdy pic.twitter.com/oZ7worlBez
— Sia Nyorkor (@TVNewsLady) June 28, 2018
In May, Larissa gave birth to a baby girl, her tenth child. The child was placed in foster care, under permanent custody of the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services, Fox 8 reported.
A Juvenile Court Judge is set to hold a hearing on long-term custody of five of Larissa’s children. Two of her other children had been taken way by child welfare workers, and another had previously been passed permanently to a father.
Larissa had 18 complaints about her to county child welfare workers, who investigated her 13 times over many years, Fox 8 reported. Over that time, the county had taken children away from Larissa. But relatives and contacts say the county did not do enough to spot danger and do something in the case of Jordan’s death.