Court Records Reveal Stamford Mother Lied to Police to Cover Up Her Son's Death

NBC Connecticut

A Stamford mother allegedly lied to police in an attempt to cover up the death of her 2-year-old son, according to court documents obtained by NBC Connecticut.

The newly unsealed affidavit states that Iris Rivera-Santos willingly went to Cummings Park with the child's father last month to bury the boy's body.

Rivera-Santos' attorney told police she and her son were kidnapped by the child's father, Edgar Ismalej-Gomez, on Jan. 2. Rivera-Santos met police at Dunkin' Donuts on East Main Street and told officers she was held captive in her car for four days, according to the affidavit.

Text messages and surveillance video gathered as evidence showed that Rivera-Santos lied about the events that happened in the days following her son's death, according to authorities.

The mother told authorities that the child's father showed up at her apartment uninvited about a month earlier. Ismalej-Gomez allegedly blamed Rivera-Santos for being arrested last year and said he was going to cause her the same amount of pain his mother felt when he went to jail. However, text messages show that Rivera-Santos actually asked him to come over, court records show.

Documents say Rivera-Santos told police that she saw the child's father hit the 2-year-old on Dec. 28, 2022. The following morning, she told Ismalej-Gomez to check on their son, and he said the child wasn't breathing and was dead.

The child's mother said she told the father to call an ambulance and he refused. That's when the two of them dressed their child and put him in a plastic garbage bag, according to court records.

While in possession of a gun, Rivera-Santos said the child's father made her drive to the park where she watched him dig a grave and bury their son. She alleged that Ismalej-Gomez held her captive for several days and ultimately released her on Jan. 2, according to authorities.

Rivera-Santos said the child's father took her phone's SIM card and her car, so she bought a phone and called her attorney. During their investigation, officers revealed that she was actually in full control of her phone before, during and after her son's death, court documents show.

"Despite having many opportunities, Rivera did not appear to make any effort to notify the police or ask anyone for help," police said in the affidavit.

Rivera-Santos led officers to the area of the park where her child's body was buried on Jan. 2, authorities said.

The mother's two other children were home when it all unfolded. Authorities said Rivera-Santos lied about taking her other children out of the house while they buried the body, according to the affidavit.

Documents reveal that both of Rivera-Santos' young children were interviewed by police in connection to their brother's death. One child told investigators he saw his brother fall and hit his head, but didn't tell his mother.

Investigators said Rivera-Santos has a history of falsely reporting an incident, "in order to benefit or protect herself."

The child's death was ruled a homicide. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said he died of a blunt impact injury to the head that resulted in a brain bleed.

Rivera-Santos is charged with risk of injury, cruelty and tampering with evidence. The child's father, who has not been charged in connection to his son's death, is also in prison for a probation violation in a separate case.

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