Police Say Albuquerque Mom Confessed to Murder of Boy Buried in Playground

Albuquerque Police Arrest Mother of Boy Buried Under Playground Swings

The mother of a child found buried at an Albuquerque, N.M., playground has admitted to suffocating her son, reviving him in a fit of remorse, and then suffocating him again, police said.

Albuqeurque police have arrested Tiffany Toribio on murder and abuse charges nearly a week after her 3-year-old son was found buried under the swings at Alvarado Park.

Officer Nadine Hamby told ABCNews.com today that Toribio is a transient who told police she murdered her little boy, Ty, May 15 after deciding she didn't want him to grow up knowing his mother didn't want him.

Hamby said Toribio told police she was kicked out of a friend's house around 1 a.m. and took her son to the nearby Alvarado Park where the two walked around until the sprinkler system shut off.

Then, according to Hamby, mother and son lay down in the sand where Ty promptly fell asleep. That's when, Hamby said, Toribio got to thinking.

"She begins to think she doesn't want him to live the life she has lived," Hamby said.

Her parents didn't want her, Hamby said, and "she didn't want him."

So while Ty -- whom she alternately called "Tyree" and "Tyruss" -- slept, Toribio "puts her hands over his little mouth and nose and proceeds to suffocate him," Hamby said.

Hamby said Toribio told police she then had a change of heart and used CPR to revive her lifeless son. Once he was breathing again, Toribio changed her mind yet again and suffocated him "until he has died," Hamby said.

An Albuquerque mother found Ty Friday when the motion from her child on the swings brushed back the dirt to reveal Ty's sneaker-clad foot.

Desperate to identify the boy who had remained nameless for days, Albuquerque police this week released a photo showing the clothing Ty was wearing and a composite sketch created with the help of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

It was then, Hamby said, that tips started flowing in from Toribio's friends and relatives who said they hadn't seen Ty with her for a few days.

"The tips kept on crossing," Hamby said. "Tiffany's name kept being brought up more than once."

Toribio, she said, decided to turn herself in after news station's ran her picture. She was arrested Wednesday night at an Albuquerque bus stop on her way to surrender, police said.

Finding 'Baby Justice'

While still unidentified, Ty had been dubbed "Baby Justice" or "Baby Angel." Thousands of dollars were collected to help pay for a proper burial, and a funeral home donated services.

Nervous parents have gathered at the playground where Ty was buried wondering who could kill a child and leave him there.

The heartbreaking mystery of Ty's death began when another mother took her two children to Alvarado Park. As one of her children was playing on the swings, the back-and-forth motion disturbed the sand underneath, revealing a tiny black Skecher sneaker with gray and lime-green designs on it.

Hamby said the woman grabbed the sneaker to move it out of the way, figuring another child had left it behind, "and sees that it's connected to a leg -- at least an ankle."

Hamby said the mother dropped the foot and called police, who unearthed the rest of the body. The medical examiner, she said, determined the boy had been underneath the playground for no more than 48 hours.

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