Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Murderer

Characteristics: Parricide - The victim asked her daughter to leave her home

Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: October 6, 2013
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1973
Victim profile: Sonia Santiesteban, 65 (her mother)
Method of murder: Stabbing with a kitchen knife
Location: Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA
Status: Rodriguez remains in Miami-Dade County jail without bond

Woman accused of stabbing her mother to death in Homestead

By Brenda Medina -

October 8, 2013

A woman charged with stabbing her mother to death during a fight appeared in court on Monday, where her odd behavior prompted a Miami-Dade judge to order a psychological evaluation.

The family tragedy played out Sunday when Sonia Santiesteban, 65, asked her 40-year-old daughter to leave her South Miami-Dade home at 17360 SW 232nd St. Santiesteban lived in a mobile-home park with three children she had adopted.

Angered, Yudenia Rodriguez pushed her mother, who frequently used a wheelchair, to the ground and began hitting her. Santiesteban’s 15-year-old granddaughter witnessed the attack and tried to call 911, but police said Rodriguez took the phone from the teen and slapped her several times to keep her from calling for help.

Rodriguez then grabbed a kitchen knife and began stabbing her mother, killing Santiesteban, Miami-Dade police said.

Rodriguez was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, child abuse and tampering with a witness.

On Monday, Rodriguez made a bizarre appearance at bond court, asking a judge to remove her handcuffs, correcting the judge and saying her mother “did not die” and falling asleep in mid-hearing. Rodriguez remains in Miami-Dade County jail without bond.

Now, Santiestaban’s three grandchildren are with relatives until a hearing is held to determine who will now care for them. Santiesteban told el Nuevo Herald last year, when she was featured in the newspaper’s holiday-giving Wish Book series, that she had adopted the children eight years ago to prevent them from being separated and sent into the foster-care system. The two youngest were half-siblings to the teenage granddaughter who witnessed the murder.

Santiesteban’s oldest son had lost custody of all the children after he landed in prison on drug-related charges. The children’s mother also lost custody, leaving Santiesteban the closest adult who could take them in.

In her interview in December for the charity program, Santiesteban said the children had changed her life.

For Christmas, the family wanted the community to help them repair the mobile home they lived in, where the floor and walls were slowly falling apart. Santiesteban had bought the trailer for $16,000 several years ago.

Family history

Yudenia Rodriguez was not living with the family at the time, but Santiesteban indicated that she suffered from mental and emotional problems. It’s unclear why she moved in with her mother.

The Cuban-born grandmother had spent decades cleaning houses and hotels until she suffered a fall on the job in 2011 and broke her hip. Since then, Santiesteban could not get around without a wheelchair.

Santiesteban and her family lived in Boston for years until she decided to leave her abusive husband and head for Miami, she told the newspaper. The family had arrived from Cuba in 1980 during the Mariel boatlift. She made the trip with her ex-husband, her son and the daughter now accused in her murder.


Woman, Yudenia Rodriguez, Held Without Bond After Fatally Stabbing Her Mother: Cops

Yudenia Rodriguez stabbed her mother after a verbal dispute, police said

By Edward B. Colby

Tuesday, Oct 8, 2013

A 40-year-old woman was being held in jail without bond on Monday after she fatally stabbed her mother in front of her teenage niece in southwest Miami-Dade, authorities said.

Yudenia Rodriguez faces charges of second-degree murder, child abuse with no great bodily harm and tampering with a witness, according to online Miami-Dade Corrections records.

On Monday, Judge Ellen Sue Venzer ordered Rodriguez held on no bond on the murder and tampering charges and set bond at $5,000 for the child abuse charge.

Rodriguez appeared remotely via video for the hearing, and groaned at the start because of the handcuffs behind her back.

“Ms. Rodriguez, you’re charged with killing your mother, OK?” the judge later told Rodriguez, who was represented by a public defender.

Rodriguez responded, “She didn’t die,” before her attorney cut her off and told her not to say anything.

The judge then ordered her not to have any contact with a 15-year-old girl who allegedly saw the crime. The judge referred to her as Rodriguez's daughter.

“No. My daughter wasn’t there,” Rodriguez said, before her attorney and the judge urged her not to speak.

The Department of Children and Families said the girl is Rodriguez's niece.

Rodriguez lived with her mother Sonia Santiesteban, 66, and three children on the 17300 block of Southwest 232nd Street. But on Sunday afternoon, Rodriguez fought because Santiesteban wanted her to move out, and Rodriguez pushed her mother to the floor, Miami-Dade Police said in an arrest affidavit.

“Ms. Santiesteban’s 15-year-old granddaughter began calling 911 when Ms. Rodriguez slapped the 15-year-old girl several times and removed the telephone from her hand to hinder or delay police contact,” police wrote.

Rodriguez then armed herself with a knife and fatally stabbed her mother, the affidavit said.

Neighbor Sandy Squire told NBC 6 the teenager “ran out screaming ‘She has a knife, she has a knife.’”

Rodriguez invoked her right to remain silent, refused to speak with investigators and was arrested and taken to jail, the affidavit added.

As the bond court hearing began, Judge Venzer asked Rodriguez, who was leaning backwards, if she was alright.

Rodriguez asked for the handcuffs behind her back to be taken off.

“I’m in too much pain,” she said, groaning.

Rodriguez whimpered, and Judge Venzer asked corrections officers what was going on. One officer said that Rodriguez had to be cuffed that way because she was aggressive. Rodriguez disagreed.

She told the judge that she was bent over backwards because she was hurting.

Corrections officers then got Rodriguez a chair. She then told the judge that she was not physically injured.

Judge Venzer ultimately recommended that Rodriguez be seen by a doctor immediately.

Rodriguez’s attorney asked the judge not to order psychological evaluations right away. Judge Venzer did not, but she did ask the attorney to get those evaluations quickly.

Neighbor Barbara Cruz said that Santiesteban was the biological grandmother of the 15-year-old and decided to adopt her and her two smaller siblings to keep them together.

During an emergency shelter hearing Monday afternoon, temporary custody of the children was given to the family's pastor, Treavor Pound of Redland Church of the Nazarene.

“As the pastor of the church and the pastor to these kids, they're like family to me and we can take them in,” he said.


Yudenia Rodriguez


The victim

Sonia Santiesteban, 65.



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