A Florida woman has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for the 1991 death of her 5-year-old son. Prosecutors say she killed her child and faked his abduction because he was cramping her style.

Michelle Lodzinkski said was at a carnival in New Jersey her son, 5-year-old Timothy, disappeared. The young, single mother said she had turned away from Timmy for a mere moment to buy a soda and that when she returned, he had vanished. The carnival was searched, but not a single person could confirm that they had ever seen the boy that day. Her simple story was altered many times, according to police, growing more complicated as time went on. She went from simply losing sight of the boy to entrusting him in the care of a woman named Ellen. Then Ellen kidnapped her son. Ellen also had an accomplice: an unidentified man wielding a knife. Investigators also noted that she did not seem distraught about her son’s kidnapping.

Michelle Lodzinski (Image: Martin County Sheriff’s Office)

Nearly a year after Timmy’s disappearance, the boy’s skeletal remains were found in a marsh near the Raritan Center in Edison where Lodzinski worked at the time. The remains were so far gone that no certain cause of death could be determined. There was no forensic evidence that could link Lodzinski or anyone else to her son’s death, so the case went cold.

The one piece of evidence investigators did have was a blue and white blanket found near Timmy’s body. Lodzinski claimed not to recognize it. Lodzinski’s mother couldn’t remember the blanket either. However, Lodzinski’s niece recognized the blanket as belonging to the boy, and investigators said she began to cry as soon as they showed it to her. The niece had enjoyed a close relationship with the child, as she frequently babysat him. In 2014, Lodzinski was arrested for murder.

Timothy Wiltse (Image: Family Photo)

In her trial, the prosecution offered a motive. They argued that Timothy was a burden to Lodzinski, who wanted to be able to live the life that other women her age were enjoying without the responsibility of caring for a young child. She would later give birth to two other sons, both of whom are now teenagers.

Oddly enough, Lodzinski faked her own kidnapping in 1994, claiming two men had forced her to take a bus to Detroit. She later admitted she’d gone to Michigan of her own accord.

Image: Family Photo