I TEAM: Jailhouse letters reveal some of mystery behind child’s death

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CLEVELAND - The FOX 8 I TEAM has uncovered explosive jailhouse letters revealing the untold story surrounding the mysterious death of a child found buried in the backyard.

Just weeks ago, Larissa Rodriguez and her boyfriend, Christopher Rodriguez, went to prison for the death of her 5-year-old son. Investigators found him buried outside the family home on Cleveland’s west side after getting a tip.

But we reviewed dozens and dozens of letters between the mother and her lover from behind bars before they plead guilty and got sentenced. They wrote mostly about themselves and their future together. Not much about the case or little Jordan.

Many of the letters included a lot of steamy talk about sex. Headings such as, “I miss you sexy.” Or, “I want and need you only.” Referring to each other as king and queen.

The I TEAM requested the letters since Larissa Rodriguez and her boyfriend never fully explained to police what happened. Cuyahoga County Prosecutors collected and reviewed the letters during the investigation.

But the letters only have spotty references to the case. For instance, “They trying to get one of us on the wrong side and for abuse.” And, “We sure ain’t kill our son flat out. They tryin' to get us to turn on each other.” And, in multiple letters the phrase, “Us against the world.”

Recently, the case ended with guilty pleas to involuntary manslaughter and more. Investigators found Jordan had broken bones, he hadn’t been to a doctor in a long time, and his body had been buried for months before getting discovered.

One letter includes a drawing in honor of Jordan. Another from Larissa Rodriguez reflects her concern with being portrayed in the media as a ”baby killer.”

Rodriguez is a mother of ten. And the letters do, at times, refer to the other children. Mom wrote, for example, “I miss them all so bad…brings tears.”

While the letters do refer to missing the other kids and loving the kids, the I TEAM also went back to what we had seen written in court records. Child welfare workers found the house filthy with bugs and rats. Even bugs in some food the kids were eating.

Larissa Rodriguez also recently gave birth behind bars. The letters refer to baby Aliyah. Child welfare workers took her into foster care. And Rodriguez wrote, it was the “worst feeling EVER” carrying a baby for 9 months, and then having the child ripped away.

In the end, Judge Nancy Russo sentenced Larissa Rodriguez to 25 years in prison and Christopher to 28. And yet the focus in the letters is the relationship between the lovers. She wrote to him, “I truly want to marry and be happy with the rest of my life.”

As they headed to prison, Christopher Rodriguez wrote about the defense lawyers. He said, “They scared us into taking this plea deal. They didn’t even try to fight for us.”

Investigators close to the case had suggested as the case moved along, they didn’t believe they had seen much remorse or grief from the mother or her boyfriend. The jailhouse letters didn’t reveal a great deal of that either.

Continuing coverage of this story here

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