A young mother from New York City has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for smothering her newborn son to death and then carrying his corpse around in a bag while shopping around Victoria’s Secret in 2013, according to TIME.
Earlier this year, 21-year-old Tiona Rodriguez pleaded guilty to manslaughter under extreme emotional disturbance.
The mother told prosecutors that after she gave birth to the child at a friend's, the New York Daily News reported. She was only 17 at the time. After giving birth, she put the baby boy in a bag and went shopping. Rodriguez was arrested at Victoria’s Secret by a security guard who at first suspected she was shoplifting. When the guard searched Rodriguez's bag, he noticed a foul smell and saw the tiny body of a newborn baby, according to Pix11.
Before getting caught, the birth and killing apparently didn’t ruin Rodriguez’s appetite. According to her texts, she had plans to eat at IHOP. She reportedly sent a text to a friend expressing that she wanted to “take this s*** and dig a hole, put it somewhere, lol, then we go eat IHOP," according to the New York Daily News.
A medical examiner said the baby died of homicidal asphyxiation, Pix11 reported.
Shockingly, this wasn’t the first newborn of Rodriquez’s that died. A year before this incident, she gave birth to a baby in her bathtub, TIME reported. That child died, and the reason is unclear. After the baby died, she texted her boyfriend at the time, stating “It’s dead," according to the Daily News. She had a third child when she was 14 who lived, reported Pix11.
Rodriguez’s guilty plea was part of a plea deal for reduced jail time.