Couple Wanted for Boy’s Murder In Cleveland, Found in Adrian, MI

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By: Jeremy Scott

A couple accused in the murder of a 4-year-old boy in Cleveland were arrested in Adrian, MI and will be extradited back to Ohio to stand trial.

Romaine Tolbert, 36, and Joanne Vega, 31 each waived extradition in separate hearings in Lenawee County Circuit Court. Both Vega and Romaine declined offers to have an attorney appointed to them. The U.S. Marshall Service Office for the northern district and the Adrian Daily Telegraph report that Vega and Romaine were arrested “at an associate’s home located on the 300 block of East Maumee Street.”

The couple was wanted by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Marshals for the murder of 4-year-old Elizar Ruiz. When the couple did not appear for a hearing on Jan 29th, an arrest warrant was issued, according to the press release. According to court documents, the couple was indicted January 14th and charged with murder, permitting child abuse, felonious assault, endangering children, involuntary manslaughter, offenses against a human corpse, tampering with evidence, and kidnapping.

Vega was the godmother of Ruiz, whose skeletal remains were found in the back yard of a Cleveland home in September 2017. Authorities believed the remains had been there several months before being found, and his death was ruled a homicide.

WEWS-TV in Cleveland reports that after the child was found authorities released a sketch in hope of identifying the Ruiz. The boys mother saw the sketch and alerted police. The mother stated that she left Ruiz in Vega’s custody when she went to jail in July 2016.  He was reported missing the following summer.


© 2019, The Village Reporter and/or The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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