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Mother Charged With Third-Degree Murder For Strangling 11-Year-Old Son (+PHOTOS)

Micheal Chukwuebuka, Reporting

A Pennsylvania mother who strangled her 11-year-old son because she didn’t want him to grow up with the family’s financial difficulties, has been charged with murder on Wednesday.

In a criminal complaint obtained by a source in Philadelphia, 50-year-old Ruth DiRienzo-Whitehead, confirmed to authorities that she killed her son, Matthew Whitehead with her husband’s belt while the boy was asleep.


Matthew Whitehead

Stonix News reports that DiRienzo-Whitehead was also charged with third-degree murder and possessing an instrument of a crime.

As of the time of filing this report, she is being held in Cape May, New Jersey, and will be extradited to Pennsylvania for arraignment.

According to Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Matthew’s father called 911 on Monday morning after he found his SUV missing and the door locked to the master bedroom of the family’s home in Horsham, few miles north of Philadelphia.

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Investigators at DiRienzo-Whitehead’s home

When officers got to this house, they found Matthew’s body in the bedroom, where he had gone to sleep with his mother.

He also had ligature marks around his neck and other signs of strangulation.

Report has it that DiRienzo-Whitehead, after allegedly killing her son, drove the family’s SUV to Cape May, New Jersey.

She took the family’s Toyota Highlander, drove it into the ocean, and walked to the nearby town of Wildwood Crest.

A police officer spotted her walking down the street wearing tattered pajamas and appearing confused.

“DiRienzo-Whitehead explained that she did not want Matthew to grow up with these struggles so she strangled him with her husband’s belt,” part of the complaint says.

DiRienzo-Whitehead had not provided a lawyer to speak on her behalf, as of the time of filing this report.

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