CPS Caught Taking Bribes to 'Cover' for Mother Who Murdered 5-Year-Old Son
Social worker was bought off with food stamps to help cover-up death
An Ohio mom, who murdered her disabled 5-year-old son and buried his body in their backyard, kept his death a secret by bribing a social worker, according to reports.
Larissa Rodriguez was already being investigated by Child Protection Services for the endangerment of her children, but she "bought-off" the CPS officer assigned to her case with food stamps.
After killing her son Jordan and burying his remains, she used the food stamps she still received to feed him to pay for the social worker's silence.
The social worker, Nancy Caraballo, did not visit the family’s roach- and bed bug- infested home because she was being paid off by food stamps, which she sold-on for 50c on the dollar, according to Cuyahoga County officials,
Jordan, whose remains were found in Larissa Rodriguez’s yard in December.
On December 21, Rodriguez, a mother-of-nine, was charged with murder after her husband’s brother alleged to police that Rodriguez and another person had buried Jordan in the backyard after finding him unresponsive. The child was developmentally disabled, according to a Cleveland police spokesperson.
Larissa Rodriguez and her husband Christopher Rodriguez face charges of murder, felonious assault, endangering children and gross abuse of a corpse, according to a prosecutor office’s press release obtained by PEOPLE.
Now, Rodriguez and Caraballo are charged with trafficking in or illegal use of food stamps, money laundering, and bribery, according to an indictment obtained by PEOPLE.
“The home was infested with bedbugs and cockroaches and it was a very disgusting, unlivable situation,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said at a press conference Wednesday. “As a mandatory reporter, [Caraballo] would’ve been obligated to report these gross abuses that she [Rodriguez] was committing upon these children.”
Caraballo is accused of purchasing more than $10,000 worth of the family’s food stamps for half price, according to the indictment. As part of her job, Caraballo was required to make monthly visits to the family’s home. However, prosecutors allege that on “at least eleven occasions, including the month before the discovery of Jordan’s body,” Caraballo did not enter the home and falsified her reports.
“This food stamp transaction is a bribe,” O’Malley said. “[Caraballo] was being bribed to look the other way.”
The alleged food stamp fraud lasted from July 2015 to the month of Jordan’s death.
Family tells me 4yo Jordan Rodriguez’s funeral was today. Medical examiner says cause of death is still pending. Mom Larissa Rodriguez pleaded not guilty to murder charge on Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/qzzCsXb9z6— Homa Bash (@HomaBashWEWS) January 3, 2018
A petition filed by the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services details the allegedly “deplorable” condition the Rodriguez’s children lived in, according to WKYC.
Investigators discovered the family’s home, located in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, to be “in a deplorable and unsanitary condition,” infested with rats and cockroaches, according to the petition filed with the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, the outlet reports.
County social workers previously told local media they were familiar with Larissa Rodriguez, who is currently pregnant, WKBN-27 reports.
“The home was dirty with an infestation of cockroaches and rats. One child was observed eating a sandwich that contained cockroaches,” the petition states, WKYC reports.
Larissa Rodriguez has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge, according to WKYC3. It is unclear whether she has an attorney who could comment on her behalf. It was also unclear whether Christopher Rodriguez and Nancy Caraballo have entered pleas or have attorneys.