The teen caught carrying her dead newborn in a Victoria’s Secret bag nearly two years ago is a cold-blooded killer who planned her baby’s death months before he was born, prosecutors said Thursday.
Tiona Rodriguez, 19, was charged with second-degree murder for the 2013 death of her baby boy, whose limp body was discovered in her shopping bag by a guard at the Herald Square shop who thought she was shoplifting.
“The defendant planned and carried out the murder of her newborn infant and then callously shoved him in a bag with the plan of — in her words to “take this s–t and dig a hole, put it somewhere, lol, then we go eat IHOP,’” ADA Rachel Ferrari said at her Manhattan arraignment.
Ferrari detailed Rodriguez’s grand plan, which started at her friend’s home in Queens back in Oct. 2013.
“She took a bag with her and a change of clothes and went into her friend’s bathroom and gave birth, ripping the cord with her bare hands,” the prosecutor said, adding that Rodriguez birthed a full-term, eight-pound baby boy.
“As we know, he lived several minutes before he was asphyxiated. The defendant cleaned up after herself, leaving no sign of what transpired in that bathroom, taking that body out in a body bag,” Ferrari said.
Prosecutors charged that Rodriguez is a serial pregnancy hider, shielding at least three pregnancies from those closest to her.
No one, including her family, knew that she was pregnant with her now-4-year-old son before she went to the hospital.
They also believe she killed a second baby back in 2012, when she had it in her bath tub. Ferrari said it was unclear whether the baby was a stillborn, but they had proof of her discussing the birth.
“We know that she texted her boyfriend throughout the birth, ultimately telling him, ‘It’s dead,’” she said. “Then the two of them discussed via text getting rid of it. Smashing it up, so it didn’t look like a body. Burning it. Meeting up to bury it.”
But Rodriguez’s lawyer told a different story about a young girl who had a miscarriage, adding that she has always maintained that the baby was stillborn.
“This is not a case of murder,” her attorney, Earl Ward, said.
Rodriguez, who looked gloomy in loose jeans and a black t-shirt, said nothing as Judge Thomas Farber denied her bail. She could face 10 years to life in prison.