A Maryland mother has pleaded guilty to poisoning her 5-year-old son by forcing him to swallow a fatal dose of antihistamine and then setting his body on fire.
Narges Shafeirad, 35, showed no emotion Thursday as prosecutors described how she killed her boy, Daniel Dana, and then wedged his body into her car and set fire to it last summer, trying to simulate a car accident
The woman was locked in a bitter divorce and custody battle with her husband, The Washington Post reported.
She pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree murder.
Prosecutors said the child had suffered face injuries before he died, possibly caused by her forcing him to swallow the equivalent of a 4-ounce bottle of children’s Benadryl, the paper said.
Daniel could have suffered convulsions, blurred vision and vomiting before he died, authorities said.
Officers arrived last June to find Shafeirad’s car in flames by the side of a highway and the mother facedown and screaming outside the vehicle.
She told them she had put containers of gasoline in the car because she feared running out of fuel on a trip to the beach. She lit a cigarette and accidentally set the car on fire, she said.
Authorities did not initially see the child inside the vehicle because his body was covered in clothes and debris, the paper reported.
She faces up to 50 years in prison at a December sentencing hearing.
The parents’ divorce was contentious, with both sides accusing the other of physical and emotional abuse. Each parent had filed for a restraining order against the other.
"When you look at the depravity — she murdered her son and attempted to cover it up — it’s awful," Capt. Darren Francke of the Montgomery Police Department told the paper at the time.