Mother’s boyfriend, social worker charged after 5-year-old found buried in backyard

Posted at 3:27 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 17:27:11-05

CLEVELAND – Prosecutors announced the indictments of a social worker and the boyfriend of an Ohio woman whose 5-year-old boy was found buried in a backyard, according to WJW.

Investigators unearthed the remains of 5-year-old Jordan Rodriguez behind a house on West 80th Street in Cleveland Dec. 19. Court documents said the body showed multiple signs of abuse, including broken ribs.

His mother, 34-year-old Larissa Rodriguez, was charged with murder, felonious assault, endangering children and gross abuse of a corpse. She pleaded not guilty and her bond was set at $1 million. On Wednesday, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley announced that her boyfriend, Christopher Rodriguez, has been indicted on the same charges.

A social worker, Nancy Caraballo, also faces charges in the investigation. O'Malley said Caraballo worked for Bright Beginnings, which is funded by Cuyahoga County and the state of Ohio, and bought more than $10,000 in food stamps from Rodriguez.

Caraballo was assigned to the family to make home visitations. O'Malley said she ignored her obligation to report the abuse and neglect because she was receiving the food stamps as a bribe. She allegedly paid 50 cents for each $1 in food stamps.

Caraballo could be sentenced to 50 years in prison. If it's determined that malnutrition played a role in Jordan's death, she would face additional charges, according to O'Malley.

The Cleveland Division of Police began investigating the case after receiving a call from Pakistan. The caller said Larissa Rodriquez and her boyfriend, Christopher Rodriguez, buried the boy in the backyard, according to the police report. According to the The Plain Dealer, the caller was Christopher Rodriguez's brother.

Jordan had not been seen alive since September. Prosecutors said he suffered from multiple ailments and his mother failed to get him medical attention.

Larissa Rodriguez has nine children and is pregnant. A Cuyahoga County spokeswoman said child welfare case workers have dealt with Rodriguez since 1999. The complaints range from neglect to physical abuse.