Reward, arrest warrants issued for Cleveland woman, her husband who allegedly murdered 4-year-old boy

Reward, arrest warrants issued for Cleveland woman, her husband who allegedly murdered 4-year-old boy
Romaine Tolbert and Joanna Vega

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The U.S. Marshals Service and Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office are trying to track down a man and woman who are accused of murdering a 4-year-old boy and ditching his body in a backyard in Cleveland.

A reward is being offered for information leading to the capture of 31-year-old Joanna Vega and 36-year-old Romaine Tolbert.

The married couple was supposed to show up for court on Jan. 29 to be arraigned on charges that included murder, gross abuse of a corpse, child endangering, tampering with evidence, and kidnapping. They both failed to appear.

Investigators say the two killed 4-year-old Eliazar Ruiz sometime between March 2015 and Sept. 2017.

Ruiz’s remains were hidden in a garbage bag and found by a tree pruner in Sept. 2017 tucked under shrubs on Longmead Avenue near West 130th Street. An autopsy determined the cause of death was ruled a homicide.

Vega is a Hispanic female, standing approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds. Tolbert, an African-American male, is 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 200 pounds. They both shared an address on Astor Avenue in Cleveland.

Anyone with information regarding the location of Vega or Tolbert, contact the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4WANTED or text keyword “WANTED” and tip to 847411.

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