Trial scheduled for Cleveland couple accused of killing a 4-year-old boy

Trial scheduled for Cleveland couple accused of killing a 4-year-old boy
Romaine Tolbert and Joanna Vega

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The trial for the couple accused of murdering a four-year-old boy whose remains were found in a trash bag in September 2017, is now scheduled to start on Jan. 13, 2020.

Joanne Vega, 31, and Romaine Tolbert, 36, are charged in the murder of Eliazar Ruiz, Vega’s godson.

The remains of Eliazar Ruiz, 4, were found in a plastic bag behind a vacant home on Cleveland's West Side in September 2017.
The remains of Eliazar Ruiz, 4, were found in a plastic bag behind a vacant home on Cleveland's West Side in September 2017.

After being indicted in January of 2019 on charges of murder, permitting child abuse, felonious assault, endangering children, involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and kidnapping, the couple failed to show up for their Jan. 29, 2019 arraignment.

A warrant was issued for their arrest and the couple was arrested by the U.S. Marshals on March 29, 2019 in Michigan.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutors said Ruiz’s 28-year-old mother dropped off her son with the couple in March of 2015 before going to prison.

Ruiz was last seen by family members in July of 2016 and reported missing in June of 2017.

His remains were found in a plastic bag in the backyard of a vacant house at 12902 Longmead Ave. on Cleveland’s West Side on Sept. 20, 2017.

It took investigators until January of 2018 to positively the little boy.

Vega and Tolbert have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

They are being held without bond.

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