The “Baby Lollipops” murder occurred in Florida in 1990, when three-year-old Lazaro Figueroa was murdered by his mother Ana Maria Cardona. Lazaro’s body was discovered abandoned and was recognized through house-to-house inquiry.
The case was widely reported in the United States, with the unidentified youngster being dubbed “Baby Lollipops” from the design on the T-shirt he was wearing when he was discovered.
Ana Maria Cardona and Fidel Figueroa gave birth to Lazaro Figueroa on September 18, 1987. Cardona had two elder children as well. Fidel Figueroa was a well-known cocaine dealer who died on September 20, 1987, under unknown circumstances. This crime is still to be solved.
Lazaro Figueroa’s body was discovered in front of a beach house in Miami Beach in November 1990. He had been severely beaten, making it impossible for officials to identify him at first. Because Lazaro’s remains remained unidentifiable for weeks after his discovery, local news outlets dubbed him “Baby Lollipops” after the shirt he was discovered in.
A blow to the head from a baseball bat was later revealed to be the cause of death.
Cardona and her lover, Olivia Gonzalez, traveled to Central Florida immediately after abandoning Lazaro’s body in the bushes, according to trial evidence. They even stopped at Disney World.
Despite accusations from neighbors and others that Cardona was abusive to Lazaro, she has always denied it. Olivia Gonzalez had beaten Lazaro and delivered the fatal blow with a baseball bat, according to her major defense.
Cardona testified that she turned to cocaine to cope with the anguish of her son’s horrific beatings at the hands of her lover. Her defense provided the court with information relating to her unresolved Cuban background and the psychological devastation created by Lazaro’s father’s death to support accusations of her former involvement in the case.
Cardona, on the other hand, was “angry and bitter” following the death of her affluent husband, according to prosecutor Reid Rubin, since she had lost a luxury lifestyle.
Gonzalez, on the other hand, was able to present her evidence against Cardona in exchange for a reduced sentence of 40 years for second-degree murder. She was in the military for 14 years. While she acknowledged her role in her girlfriend’s mistreatment of Lazaro, she was able to place the brunt of the blame for Lazaro’s death on Cardona.
THe Finding Of The Body
On the morning of November 2, 1990, employees of the Florida Power & Light Company discovered Lazaro Figueroa’s body hidden beneath some shrubs in Miami Beach. The youngster was skeletal and had a bruised right eye due to his emaciation.
He was dressed in blue sports shorts with a soiled diaper wrapped in brown packaging tape many times. Lazaro weighed 18 pounds (8.16 kg) at the time of his murder, half the weight of a healthy toddler his age.
The Miami Beach Police Department dubbed him “Baby Lollipops” because of the t-shirt he was wearing, and he went unidentified for weeks following his discovery.
The Miami Beach Police Department held a press conference with several investigators involved in the murder investigation. They also conducted door-to-door interviews about the youngster in both English and Spanish to learn more about him.
They followed up on several leads until identifying the boy as Lazaro Figueroa, the son of Ana Maria Cardona and the late Fidel Figueroa.
According to the postmortem. He died of a broken skull, which was later determined to be the consequence of a baseball bat strike. He’d been starved and abused, and he had a cigarette burn on his left cheek, shattered teeth, fractured bones, and bedsores from being confined to a mattress for long periods of time.
His arm was permanently stuck at 90 degrees, and his diaper was caked with faeces and connected to his body with brown packing tape.
Lazaro was hungry, anemic, and dehydrated when he died, weighing only 18 pounds. The majority of his body was covered in bruises and scars from long-term injuries sustained in the months leading up to his death.
He was tortured for 18 months while he was alive, according to the available evidence. Medical investigations show a history of serious maltreatment that included an arm fracture and skull fractures, as well as bleeding in his brain. His two upper front teeth appeared to be missing.
The medical examiner testified that Lazaro’s physical injuries were sustained over time, and that he had been subjected to gagging and frequent hunger.
The Trial And Sentence
Cardona claimed in her first trial in 1992 that her then-girlfriend, Olivia Gonzalez, was the one who tormented Lazaro and eventually killed him. Ana Maria Cardona’s acquaintances testified against her, claiming that she had constantly mistreated Lazaro.
Gonzalez testified that Cardona “became upset and she hit Lazaro with a bat on the head the last day before Lazaro’s death because he was delayed in taking off his diaper.
Cardona allegedly struck Lazaro until a hole was opened up in his skull according to her. “His head was fractured,” Gonzalez said, adding that the wound “began gushing and bleeding and bleeding, and then I put mercury on it and placed a plastic band on it.”
Cardona was condemned to life in prison after a second appeal. Gonzalez was freed after 14 years in prison.
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- Markowitz, Arnold (December 7, 1990). “Was Baby Lollipops’ fate sealed before he was born?”. Miami Herald. Archived from the original on July 23, 2019. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
- Ovalle, David (December 13, 2017). “Mom of ‘Baby Lollipops’ convicted for third time of torture and murder of her son”. Miami Herald. Archived from the original on May 2, 2019. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
- Anderson, Curt (December 13, 2017). “Florida mom guilty of killing son known as ‘Baby Lollipops'”. AP News. Archived from the original on November 9, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2019.