More than two decades after five-year-old Timothy Wiltsey was reported missing, and his face became one of the first images of disappeared children to appear on milk cartons, his mother has been convicted of murdering him.
As the verdict was read in a New Jersey courtroom Wednesday, 48-year-old Michelle Lodzinski dropped her head and began to shake, according to N.J. com. After eight weeks of testimony, jurors deliberated for only four hours.
Her attorney, Gerald Krovatin, said, “Michelle was extremely disappointed with the verdict, and we’ll meet in a few days. We’re exploring all alternatives,” he told journalists.
Lodzinski had long denied having anything to do with her boy’s death. She said he had disappeared from a traveling carnival while she went to buy a soda.
Masses of volunteers searched for the sweet-faced child after he vanished on May 25, 1991, and his countenance was one of the first to appear on milk cartons spreading the images of missing children.
The child’s deteriorated remains were found about a year later in a marsh. Investigators long suspected his mother, but it took nearly 25 years for them to build a case.
She was arrested in 2014 in Port St. Lucie, Florida, where she was living with two teenage sons.
Prosecutors said the case centered on Timmy’s blanket, which they contended was found near his skeleton.
“She dumped his body in a creek like a piece of trash, but she left behind a telling clue: this blanket,” New Jersey prosecutor Christie Bevacqua told jurors in her opening statement, the news site reported.
“No other killer could get this.”
Prosecutors said she killed her child because he was a "burden."
Neither jurors nor prosecutors commented Wednesday after the verdict, the site said.
The mother faces a punishment of up to life in prison. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 23.