I TEAM: Inside the investigation into mom held for murder

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CLEVELAND – The FOX 8 I TEAM has uncovered horrific conditions and a history of parenting trouble in the home where a Cleveland mother was arrested and placed under investigation for the possible murder of a son.

Late Tuesday, Cuyahoga County social workers went to court to get a judge’s approval to place the other children in foster care, at least for now.

Court records show “deplorable” conditions in the home with bugs and rats.

A spokesperson for the county says Larissa Rodriguez has 9 kids. Two were taken away by the county previously due to parenting concerns. Two others are with their fathers. Four more have just been placed in foster care.

And Tuesday evening, Cleveland Police found human remains consistent with a child in the backyard of the home of Rodriguez on the west side.

Meantime, the stepdad of the boy who may have been buried at that home is sitting in jail in Medina County for not paying child support to another woman. The I TEAM obtained a handwritten letter Christopher Rodriguez recently sent to a judge asking to get out of jail early. He said he had to get back home because his wife was pregnant again and placed on bed-rest due to a high-risk pregnancy.

Recordings of Cleveland Police dispatch show officers getting the initial call and hearing it came from a relative of the family who called from Pakistan. The story, so incredible, the first officers responding to the scene can be heard wondering about what they were hearing. One even asked if a dispatcher was sure the tip call had come from Pakistan.

Records show Larissa Rodriguez told police the missing child had been away in Texas with his father, but Rodriguez didn’t have any contact information. The tip caller told police she told her kids the missing child was away with an aunt.

At the scene, just before remains were found, relatives of the family said they believe social workers should have done more before all of this. A county spokesperson said, in all cases like this, a review is done looking at how a case was handled.

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