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Prosecutor: Mother of 5-year-old boy found buried in yard refused to get medical treatment for him

Medical examiner: Boy was found buried in bags
Posted: 3:10 PM, Dec 22, 2017
Updated: 2017-12-22 22:28:59Z

The mother accused of killing her 5-year-old old son and burying his body in the backyard faced a judge for the first time Friday.

Jordan Rodriguez disappeared nearly three months ago but until this week, no one seemed to notice. 

Now, 34-year-old Larissa Rodriguez will be spending Christmas behind bars, charged with murder.

The medical examiner positively identified Jordan's body on Friday and said the boy was buried in bags in the ground. Cause of death has not yet been determined. 

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Larissa was stone-faced as she faced a murder charge. Bond was set at $1 million. Her attorney argued that wasn't fair. 

"Since the state doesn’t have any indication really of what happened, we don’t even know if murder is the correct charge," the attorney said. 

Larissa has no prior criminal history. 

The mother of nine has been held in police custody since Monday. The boy's remains were found in her backyard Tuesday. 

The prosecutor's office is claiming she failed to get medical attention for her special needs son until his condition worsened. 

"Even though it was readily apparent he needed medical attention," the prosecutor said. 

Records show Jordan died on Sept. 22. He had not been reported missing. 

Larissa is expected to be back in court next Friday. 

Most of her other children will be spending the holidays in foster care. She is currently pregnant with her 10th child. 

There are many resources available for families in need of help across Cleveland.

One of them is the Providence House , a nonprofit emergency crisis nursery on the city's west side.

The Providence House takes in children from newborn to 10-years-old while they work with parents who have come in voluntarily. It is a free service. The goal is to help before abuse or neglect can begin -- and to keep families together, instead of children ending up in foster care.

"If they knew they could just get connected to different resources in the community, and ask for that help, would things have turned out differently?" said Kayla Naticchioni with Providence House.

How did Jordan's disappearance go unnoticed for nearly three months? It is one of the many unanswered questions in this case.

According to the Cuyahoga County missing persons database, there are currently 253 people missing in the county. Thirty four of those people are listed as "unidentified remains."

According to Cleveland Police's database, there are roughly 100 missing persons cases open.

There is also the tragic case of a 4-year-old boy whose bones were discovered in a bag on Longmead Ave. in September. Investigators have not been able to find anyone reported missing matching his description in state or national databases.