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Mom Wanted to Show Boyfriend He Was Her Top Priority. Then She Allegedly Drowned Baby, Took Photo of Body

Esperanza Rae Harding, 20, has been charged with second-degree murder

<p>Hennepin County Sheriff</p> Esperanza Rae Harding

Hennepin County Sheriff

Esperanza Rae Harding

A Minnesota mother is accused of drowning her baby in a bathtub before taking a photo of the child's body.

Esperanza Rae Harding, 20, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of her son, according to CBS News, citing the criminal complaint.

According to the complaint, Harding showed up at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis on March 6, saying her son died of natural causes at the hospital five days earlier, per FOX9. However, there was no record of the child being there.

Police interviewed Harding, who allegedly confessed to drowning the boy in a hotel bathtub in Bloomington on Feb. 28, according to the complaint, per KSTP-TV.

After she drowned him, she allegedly put his body inside a backpack and then tossed his body in the trash, the complaint states, according to KSTP-TV.

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She allegedly said she drowned the boy because she was dating a man who didn’t like him and wanted her to place him for adoption, according to the complaint, CBS News reported, citing the complaint. KTSP, citing the complaint, reported that Harding allegedly wanted to place the child for adoption to prove to the boyfriend that he, and not her baby, was her top priority.

Harding told police she became upset when her son began crying while she was attempting to take a bath, according to the complaint, per FOX9.

Harding allegedly sent a text to her boyfriend Edwin Trudeau stating, per the complaint: "Im about to do something bad, Please answer me, He going to no be here much longer," according to FOX9.

Police also allegedly discovered a photo on her phone of the boy submerged facedown in the bathtub, according to the complaint, per KSTP-TV.

“He was really happy. He enjoyed life,” said the boy’s father Jesús Cazares, per KSTP-TV. “He was always laughing, just joking.”

“Right now I have more anger than sadness,” Cazares said.

The boy’s body has yet to be found.

“I don’t want anything else other than just to find my son and give him the peace he needs,” Cazares said.

Trudeau has been charged with one count of aiding an offender by being an accomplice after the fact, per FOX9.

It's not clear if either suspect has retained an attorney or entered pleas to the charges against them.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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