CLEVELAND - Only the FOX 8 I TEAM was rolling as Larissa Rodriguez showed emotion publicly for the first time since she was arrested for killing her 5-year-old son and burying him in the yard. And it came at a custody hearing about her other children.
Rodriguez, a mother of nine, is sitting in jail charged with the murder of her 5-year-old son, Jordan. Tuesday, deputies brought her handcuffed into Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court for a hearing about the other kids. Rodriguez has not shown emotion at other hearings. Even detectives hadn’t seen much. But here, this mother sobbed and wiped tears.
She sat just feet away from two of the fathers of her kids. Jacob Wagner wants permanent custody of his 3-year-old daughter.
Cuyahoga County social workers found Rodriguez and her kids in a filthy home in Cleveland with bugs and rats. Social workers had investigated her 13 times for abuse and neglect.
Wagner says he had gone to court with his attorney before to get visits with his daughter. Wagner says he had never gone into the home, but he suspected his daughter was in a bad place. He described sitting near Rodriguez in court as “chilling”.
Rodriguez is pregnant again, and social workers spoke of 3 other fathers who didn’t show up at the hearing.
Meantime, charges for the murder of the 5-year-old are still developing in criminal court. Right now, only Rodriguez faces charges for the death of her five-year-old son. But the I TEAM has learned, soon, one of the other men in her life will also be hauled into criminal court. Investigators plan to go to a grand jury for charges against a man recently living with her.
Rodriguez is sitting in jail. Her surviving kids are staying in foster homes or with relatives for now. Two had been taken away from her for good by social workers prior to all of this.
Jacob Wagner says he’s focusing on a better life for his daughter. He said, “You know, great childhood. It’s what all the kids need. Not just mine. All of ‘em.”