Ohio couple sentenced for death of boy, remains put in bags

December 9, 2020 GMT

CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio couple is going to prison for the 2017 death of a boy whose remains were disposed of in garbage bags.

A judge on Tuesday sentenced Romaine Tolbert, 38, to 15 years in prison. His wife, Joanna Vega, was sentenced to eight years behind bars.

A jury in October convicted Tolbert of involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping, child endangerment, tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse in the death of 4-year-old Eliazar Ruiz.

Vega, who was the child’s godmother, pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against Tolbert.

The boy’s mother had asked Vega to look after the child as she prepared to go to prison.


Authorities were never able to determine how the boy died.

His skeletal remains were found in bushes behind a burned-out home.