A New York mom who admitted to killing her newborn son told prosecutors Wednesday that she carried his body around while she went shopping.
Tiona Rodriguez said she gave birth to her son at a friend's house in 2013. After he was born, she immediately smothered him to death. Police say she then sent a text that read: "take this s--t and dig a hole, put it somewhere, lol, then we go eat IHOP."
The next day, Rodriguez was shopping at a Victoria's Secret in Manhattan when a guard approached her and accused her of shoplifting. When he looked in the plastic bag she was carrying, however, he saw the newborn's remains and called the police.
The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner ruled the newborn boy's cause of death as homicidal asphyxiation.
In court, prosecutors also learned that this was Rodriguez's third child.
She had her first child when she was 14 years old and that child lives with her father. She gave birth to her second child in 2012 and it didn't survive.
A text she sent to her boyfriend read: "It's dead."
Police are unclear how that child died and if any foul play was involved. Rodriguez's defense attorneys argued that she hid her pregnancy from her family because was scared. Her family apparently didn't know she was pregnant the first time until she gave birth.
“Tiona Rodriguez deliberately and intentionally killed her defenseless newborn child,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said.
Rodriguez pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree manslaughter in a plea deal. She was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Wednesday.
“While today’s plea cannot bring back the life that was so abruptly ended," said Vance, "it is a just end to this tragedy.”
Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, true crime, dating, relationships and everything in between. Every Wednesday at 10:20 p.m. you can ask her any and all questions about self-love, dating, and relationships LIVE on YourTango’s Facebook page. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz).