Florida mom Michelle Lodzinski was convicted of killing her 5-year-old son on Wednesday. Although the boy was reported missing in 1991, it took nearly 25 years to secure a conviction.
Authorities admitted there was no physical evidence linking Michelle to her son’s disappearance or death. However, New York prosecutors successfully painted a picture of a struggling young mother who killed her son because he was too much of a burden.
The 48-year-old woman, who made no comment as she was escorted out of the courtroom, was visibly shaken when the jury foreman read the verdict. Her attorney, Gerald Krovatin, said his client was utterly devastated and had plans to appeal.
— All4Women.co.za (@all4women) May 20, 2016
According to The Washington Post, the verdict was read seven days shy of the anniversary of Timothy Wiltsey’s May 25, 1991, disappearance.
Authorities said the young mother reported the 5-year-old boy missing during a carnival they were attending in Sayreville, New Jersey. Although she denied any involvement, Michelle Lodzinski became the primary suspect when she changed her story several times.
Sadly, the little boy’s body was found 11 months after he vanished in a swampy area near Edison. His cause of death was inconclusive because his body was severely decomposed.
Michelle’s brother, Michael, who spoke to reporters outside the courthouse, said he asked his sister on numerous occasions really happened to her son. However, she refused to discuss the details of her son’s disappearance and death. “She’s the only one that knows. We don’t know anything, and she never told us anything. He was a great little boy, and this should never have happened to him,” he said.
NJ.com reports Michael and his sister remained close, despite suspicions that she had a hand in her son’s death. “After a certain point, I had to compromise myself. I knew something wasn’t right, but I had to put it aside. And I have to live with that myself. We didn’t know anything,” he concluded.
Opening day for the Michelle Lodzinski trial https://t.co/MjTqTLdV99 pic.twitter.com/AR5eQdSr7y
— Mark Sullivan (@MSullivanHNT) March 17, 2016
Michelle Lodzinski was living in Port St. Lucie, Florida, with her two sons in 2014 when she was arrested and charged in Timothy’s death.
Investigators had reopened the cold case in an attempt to secure an arrest. They eventually found a witness, who identified the blanket that was used to wrap the boy’s remains. Timothy’s former babysitter Danielle Gerding testified that she recognized the blanket from Lodzinski’s apartment.
Despite Gerding’s claim, there was no forensic evidence linking Michelle Lodzinski to the blanket. Instead, prosecutors focused on the fact that Michelle’s story about her son’s disappearance changed numerous times.
The inconsistencies in her story enabled prosecutors to paint the story of a young mother who was down on her luck. As Lodzinski had several failed relationships and had trouble finding work, prosecutors suggested the single mother believed she would have a better chance to make something of her life if the boy was not in the picture.
They argued that Michelle Lodzinski used the carnival kidnapping to cover shat she actually did to her son, adding that no one saw the boy at the carnival.
Michelle’s defense attorney argued that there is no physical evidence to support claims that Lodzinski harmed her own son. During the trial, Krovatin produced several witnesses who claimed they saw a boy who resembled Timothy at the carnival.
The attorney also put an ex-convict from Arizona on the stand. The man testified that a former acquaintance told him he killed a young boy in circumstances similar to those leading to Timothy’s death. Krovatin further argued that babysitter Danielle Gerding, who claimed to have recognized the blanket, had an ongoing conflict with Lodzinski over a custody issue.
Michelle Lodzinski will be sentenced on August 23. She is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison.
[Image via Nadezhda1906/Shutterstock]