I-Team: Mother of 4-year-old boy found dead in Cleveland home speaks out

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CLEVELAND -- A Cleveland mother is speaking out to the FOX 8 I-Team from inside a state prison, revealing how she saw a FOX 8 story about the remains of a child being found, then realized the little boy was her son.

Ashley Makuhan said in a phone call from prison, "At first it didn’t look like him, but I knew with my heart, so I kept looking at it, and his teeth, that’s when I knew."

Recently, the I-Team spotlighted efforts to identify the human remains of a child found last September on Longmead in Cleveland. The report included the work of Kent State assistant professor Linda Spurlock who had created a sketch of what the child might look like.

Makuhan saw that story.

**Watch Ed Gallek's report from earlier this week, above this story**

“The teeth.  His teeth looked exactly like that,” Makuhan said.

After the mother saw the story, she contacted authorities at the prison. DNA testing was done, and just days ago, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner positively identified the child as Eliazar Ruiz.

“He was an amazing kid, always wanted people to laugh," Makuhan said. "This should have never happened."

Makuhan, 27, is finishing an 18-month sentence on drug charges. She said she left the child in the care of people she trusted including the child’s godmother.

The I-Team recently checked on the records of the people Makuhan had caring for her child. We found a man wanted on arrest warrants for two cases dating back months.

The child’s mother is scheduled to be released from a women’s prison near downtown Cleveland in April. She says she is hoping to get out earlier so she can help her family with her son’s burial.

“I want to lay him to rest properly," Makuhan said.

Detectives are continuing to investigate to try and figure out exactly how Eliazar died. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office is also trying to determine the exact cause and manner of his death.

“I want justice for him,” Makuhan said. “He didn’t deserve this at all.”

Additional coverage on this story, here.