A 28-year-old woman in New Jersey was convicted of murdering, dismembering and burning the remains of her 23-month-old son.
According to a press release by the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office, Nakira Griner of Bridgeton was found guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree desecration of human remains, second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, fourth-degree tampering with evidence and second-degree false public alarm.
According to The Daily Journal, Griner reported to police on Feb. 8, 2019, that her son, Daniel, was taken by a man who allegedly attacked her while she pushed her son in a stroller on her way to a store. However, after changing her story multiple times while authorities searched for Daniel and failing a polygraph test, police and canine searched her home.
During their search, they found Daniel’s dismembered and burned remains in Griner’s purse, buried underneath the backyard shed. Authorities say the child was burned to the point where they couldn’t dictate what happened to him. A medical examiner determined that Daniel’s death was caused by blunt force trauma.
According to Law & Crime, Griner admitted to police that she hit her son because he wasn’t listening to her, leaving bruises on his face, and she also told officers that he fell down a flight of stairs. A phone call she made in jail revealed that she “did what she did to him” to hide the marks she left on him.
“As part of the deliberations, the jury also found the child victim was less than 14 years of age, an aggravating factor that would require the defendant to face a sentence of mandatory life imprisonment without eligibility for parole,” prosecutors stated.
Griner’s attorney, Jill Cohen, argued that while her client did dismember and burn the body, it couldn’t be proven that she caused his death, which is why Griner could only be convicted of manslaughter.
The New Jersey mother’s sentencing trial is scheduled for Feb. 21 at 1:30 p.m.