Tiona Rodriguez, who was accused of carrying a dead male fetus in her purse after she was caught allegedly shoplifting from an NYC Victoria’s Secret, was arraigned for petty larceny in court on Oct. 19.
Tiona Rodriguez, 17, was charged in court on Oct. 19 for allegedly shoplifting a pair of $44.50 jeans from the Victoria’s Secret in Herald Square, New York City. Shockingly, almost no mention was made of the fact that security guards who searched her bags discovered a deceased human fetus wrapped up inside. Read on for more details.
Tiona Rodriguez Charged — Teen Accused Of Carrying Fetus At Victoria’s Secret
Tiona appeared emotionless as she and her alleged partner in crime, Francis Estevez, were arraigned for shoplifting in Manhattan Criminal Court, according to the New York Daily News. Tiona pleaded not guilty to the charges of petty larceny and possession of stolen property, and she was released without bail.
“I don’t want to ignore the elephant in the room, but we are only arraigning the shoplifts,” said Assistant District Attorney Robert Hettleman.
Police are still looking into Tiona’s supposed miscarriage, and they believe she may have given birth at Francis’ apartment in Queens. A neighbor told the Daily News that authorities were “investigating the bathtub for remains.”
“One can only imagine how she feels,” defense attorney Genay Ann Leitman said of Tiona, who has a 2-year-old son. “Anyone would be traumatized by the entire situation.”
Dead Fetus Found In Teen’s Purse At NYC Victoria’s Secret
Security guards uncovered the fetus when Tiona allegedly tried to shoplift from Victoria’s Secret. She reportedly told police that she had a miscarriage the day before, and stowed the fetus in her bag because she didn’t know what to do.
After store security guards discovered the gruesome human remains, they called the NYPD.
“They have been arrested. [There] haven’t been any changes to the charges. Waiting on the medical examiners office to determine whether it’s a stillborn or alive. Then if there are any other charges that will be determined,” the NYPD told HollywoodLife.com.
Tiona was taken out of the store in a wheelchair and taken to Bellevue Hospital to be examined. The baby was believed to be developed about five to six months, according to CBS News.
Friends of Tiona’s spoke out to vouch for her, saying they don’t believe she would have willfully harmed the child.
“She goes to school. She does what she has to do. She’s no problem,” Tiona’s neighbor told the New York Daily News. “We grew up together. I’ve known her since she was little. She was probably nervous and didn’t know what to do. She would never hurt anyone.”