A New York woman admitted this week to killing her infant son before stuffing him into a bag and carrying his body around while she shopped.
Tiona Rodriguez, 21, told prosecutors that she gave birth to her son at a friend’s home on October 16, 2013, and immediately smothered him. After the killing, prosecutors said the then-17-year-old sent a text saying, “take this s**t and dig a hole, put it somewhere, lol, then we go eat IHOP,” according to the New York Daily News.
The next day, Rodriguez was shopping at a Manhattan Victoria’s Secret when she was approached by a guard who thought she was shoplifting. It was then that the guard discovered the newborn’s remains in a plastic bag she was carrying, the New York Post reported.
According to WABC, the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner ruled that the baby boy’s death was caused by homicidal asphyxiation.
The court also learned that this was Rodriguez’s third child. Her first child, which she had at 14, lives with her father. She also gave birth in a bathtub in 2012–and later texted her boyfriend, “it’s dead.” It’s not clear how that baby died, according to the Daily News.
In court, defense attorneys argued that she hid her last pregnancy from her family because she was scared and already had a 2-year-old child at the time. WPIX wrote that her family didn’t know she was pregnant with her first child until she gave birth.
The Brooklyn woman ultimately agreed guilty to one count of first-degree manslaughter. In exchange, she was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Wednesday.
“Tiona Rodriguez deliberately and intentionally killed her defenseless newborn child,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said, according to WABC.
“While today’s plea cannot bring back the life that was so abruptly ended, it is a just end to this tragedy.”
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 6.
[Featured Image: Tiona Rodriguez/Facebook]