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10-17-2013, 09:48 PM

NYPD: Dead Baby Found In Teen’s Bag Inside Manhattan Victoria’s Secret
17-Year-Old Girls Stopped Leaving Store; One Admits Having 'Baby In The Bag'
October 17, 2013 11:16 PM


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Two teenage girls suspected of shoplifting were stopped as they were leaving the Victoria’s Secret store in Herald Square, and a security guard checking their bags found what appeared to be a dead baby inside, police said Thursday.

The girls, both 17, were stopped by store security guards, one of whom smelled a foul odor coming from a bag, police said. It was then that one of the girls admitted she had “a baby in the bag,” CBS 2 reported.

A guard called police. The girl later told officers that she had given birth Wednesday and did not know what to do with the fetus, which had matured only five to six months, police said.

The teens have been identified as Tiana Rodriguez, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and Francis Estevez, of Glendale, Queens. Rodriguez, who police say gave birth to the baby, was taken to Bellevue Hospital. Estevez was still being held at the Midtown South police station Thursday night, CBS 2′s Hazel Sanchez reported.

They have both been charged with petty larceny. More charges could follow.

The Medical Examiner’s Office was performing an autopsy on the baby, which was believed to be a boy, to determine whether the child was born dead or alive and the cause of death. The results of the autopsy are expected to be released Friday.


Police searched Rodriguez’s apartment Thursday night. They also were examining surveillance video from inside the store.

Neighbors and friends said they had no idea Rodriguez, who has a 2-year-old son, was pregnant. In recent photos posted online, Rodriguez’s pregnancy was not obvious. Late Wednesday night, she posted on her Facebook page complaining of cramps.:rolleyes:

The Bobster
10-20-2013, 07:36 AM

No charges yet over dead baby in bag
By Georgett Roberts
October 19, 2013 | 5:12pm

Tiona Rodriguez, 17, arrives at Manhattan Central booking for arraignment.

Authorities aren’t ready to bring charges over a dead baby found in a bag belonging to an alleged teen shoplifter.

Tiona Rodriguez, 17, was released without bail after she pleaded not guilty to petty larceny and possession of stolen property charges in the bizarre incident last week in a Victoria’s Secret on 34th Street in Midtown.

Rodriguez in court.

“Shoplifting with a baby in her bag the entire time certainly suggests a little bit of difficulty following society’s rules,” assistant district attorney Robert Hettleman said in Manhattan Criminal Court.

But a judge denied Hettleman’s request for $1,000 bail.

Cops say they can’t bring charges until forensic tests determine exactly how the full-term newborn died. That could take several weeks.

The baby died of asphyxiation soon after birth, law enforcement sources said.

Rodriguez and a pal drew the attention of a store security guard who made the gruesome discovery when he busted them on shoplifting allegations.

Rodriguez, who has a young child at home, allegedly told cops she didn’t know what to do with the young boy’s body.

The investigation isn’t over, Hettleman vowed.

“The NYPD, my office and the office of the Chief Medical Examiner are going to continue to vigorously and thoroughly investigate the matter relating to the baby,” he said.

Rodriguez is due back in court on Dec. 10.

The Bobster
04-16-2014, 08:52 AM

Teen who carried dead tot into store could get murder charge
By Jamie Schram and Dana Sauchelli

April 16, 2014 | 6:04am

Tiona Rodriguez in court in December.
Photo: David McGlynn

A teenager who walked into a Manhattan Victoria’s Secret store carrying her dead baby in a shopping bag could be charged with murder after the city Medical Examiner’s Office on Tuesday ruled the infant’s death a homicide by asphyxiation, according to sources.

Tiona Rodriguez, 17, had previously been charged with petit larceny and possession of stolen property after her arrest last October in the Herald Square store.

The Manhattan DA’s Office is now expected to add a charge of murder.

The Bobster
12-04-2014, 01:48 PM

Judge dismisses shoplifting charge for teen caught with dead baby
By Rebecca Rosenberg
December 4, 2014 | 12:14pm

Tiona Rodriguez in court December, 2013.
Photo: DAvid McGlynn

A Manhattan judge dismissed a shoplifting charge against a teenager caught with a dead baby in her Victoria’s Secret shopping bag after she allegedly tried to steal from the lingerie boutique in 2013.

Prosecutors conceded Thursday that they had not filed a certificate of readiness in a timely manner and the misdemeanor petit larceny case against Tiona Rodriguez, 17, had to be dropped.

Prosecutors are still investigating whether to bring murder charges against the teen.

“The fact that it has taken so long raises in my mind the validity of any future homicide prosecution,” said her defense lawyer Earl Ward. “It’s not a case of murder or homicide but a case of a baby who was still born.”

The city Medical Examiner ruled that the cause of death was a homicide.

Investigators believe Rodriguez killed her baby a day after it’s birth, a police source said.

Rodriguez was busted Oct. 18, 2013 for allegedly swiping a pair of pants and a tote bag from a Herald Square Victoria’s Secret.

When the guard peered inside her bag, he was greeted by a rancid smell and made the horrifying discovery of a tiny rotting corpse.

Rodriguez, who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn with her 2-year-old son, told the guard she had suffered a miscarriage.

The Bobster
01-17-2018, 07:11 PM

Woman with dead baby in bag gets prison time in plea deal
By Emily Saul
January 17, 2018 | 5:13pm

Tiona Rodriguez
David McGlynn

The young woman who was toting her dead baby around in a plastic bag when a guard mistook her for a shoplifter admitted Wednesday to killing the newborn in exchange for 16 years in prison.

Tiona Rodriguez, now 21, copped to charges of first-degree manslaughter under extreme emotional disturbance before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Thomas Farber in exchange for the sentence.

She had faced up to life behind bars on murder charges for the 2013 death of her baby boy.

The tot’s remains were discovered by a guard at the Herald Square Victoria Secret, who thought she was swiping lingerie. The shoplifting charges against her were later dismissed. :rolleyes:

Rodriguez, who was 17 when she gave birth, told the court she smothered the child after delivering him in a friend’s bathroom in Queens. She then placed the tiny corpse in a bag and carried him into Manhattan the next day.

“You admit the baby was born alive?” Judge Farber asked the woman, who hung her head throughout the proceeding.

She waited a full 10 seconds before mumbling, “Yes.”

The child was Rodriguez’s third. She first gave birth around the age of 14, her lawyer, Julie Rendelmen, said. That child now lives with the father. It was previously revealed during hearings that she also had a second pregnancy, though it’s not clear if that fetus was carried to term.

“People look at her and think she’s so evil, but there is so much more to this young woman than these incredibly horrible moments in her life,” Rendelmen insisted. “She was feeling incredible pressure and incredible feelings of inadequacy.”

The teen was charged after prosecutors combed through her Facebook and found messages to a friend referring to the child, saying, “take this s–t and dig a hole, put it somewhere, lol, then we go eat IHOP.’ ”

She’s slotted to return to court for sentencing Feb. 6.

“Tiona Rodriguez deliberately and intentionally killed her defenseless newborn child,” said District Attorney Vance. “While today’s plea cannot bring back the life that was so abruptly ended, it is a just end to this tragedy.”