Cleveland man pleads not guilty to murdering, burying 5-year-old - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Cleveland man pleads not guilty to murdering, burying 5-year-old boy

Christopher Rodriguez, 36, of Cleveland (Source: Facebook) Christopher Rodriguez, 36, of Cleveland (Source: Facebook)
Larissa Rodriguez (Source: Cleveland police) Larissa Rodriguez (Source: Cleveland police)
Jordan Rodriguez (Source: Family) Jordan Rodriguez (Source: Family)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

Christopher Rodriguez pled not guilty to murder, felonious assault and endangering children charges Monday in court after a 5-year-old boy was found buried at the home he used to share with his girlfriend -- the boy's mother -- Larissa Rodriguez.

The remains of Jordan Rodriguez were unearthed this past December after Christopher, 36, reportedly admitted to his brother that he helped bury the young boy behind the couple's West 80th Street home.

Jordan's death was ruled a homicide, but the cause of death is still unknown.

Christopher's bond has been set at $1 million.

Nancy Caraballo, a Parent Educator for Bright Beginnings, an agency that provides educational services and referrals to families with small children, was indicted for her role in a multi-year food stamp fraud scam with Larissa Rodriguez.

Prosecutors say Caraballo paid Larissa 50 cents for every $1 of her food stamp benefits, which totaled $10,058.18. The food stamp benefit was meant for Larissa's five children, including Jordan.

The fraud allegedly lasted from July 2015 to December 2017. 

Larissa and Caraballo have been charged with illegal use of food stamps, grand theft telecommunications fraud, money laundering and bribery.

Caraballo was also charged with 12 counts of tampering with government records.

Caraballo's role required her to make monthly home visits to evaluate Larissa's children and refer them for educational services. On at least 11 occasions, including the month before the discovery of Jordan's body, Caraballo reportedly falsified her reports to cover up the fact that she had not been inside the home.   

As a mandatory reporter, it was Caraballo's responsibility to report neglect and abuse to the proper authorities. It has been documented the home was in deplorable condition at the time of Jordan's death.

Larissa is also charged with murder, felonious assault, endangering children, and offenses against corpse and  is also being held on a $1 million bond.

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