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HomeTrendingPennsylvania: Mum 'strangles son for crying about financial struggles' | US News

Pennsylvania: Mum ‘strangles son for crying about financial struggles’ | US News

Ruth DiRienzo-Whitehead is accused of strangling her 11-year-old son in their Pennsylvania home after he cried about their family’s financial struggles (Pictures: AP/ABC 6 Philadelphia)

A mother allegedly strangled her 11-year-old son to death so that he would not grow up and experience their family financial struggles.

Ruth DiRienzo-Whitehead, 50, told detectives that her son Matthew Whitehead was ‘crying off and on all day over the family’s financial difficulties’, according to an affidavit obtained by WPVI.

Ruth added that she did not want her son growing up ‘with these struggles’ and therefore used her husband’s belt to strangle him in his sleep.

Matthew’s father found him dead, and cops responded to their home on the 500 block of Privet Road in Horsham, Pennsylvania, shortly after 7am on Tuesday.

Ruth DiRienzo-Whitehead has been charged with first-degree murder (Picture: AP)

Ruth killed her son after he fell asleep around 9.30pm on Monday and then drove their SUV to Cape May, New Jersey, according to investigators. There, she drove the car into the ocean off Beach Avenue and abandoned it and began walking to Wildwood Crest, where she was taken into custody.

Police officers were watching the family’s beach house on Seaview Avenue and spotted a woman appearing to be Ruth and called her name.

‘I know what I did,’ Ruth allegedly said as the officers approached her.

The SUV contained a men’s black belt on the floor of the driver’s side, according to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

An autopsy confirmed that Matthew died from being strangled.

‘Strangulation takes time,’ said District Attorney Kevin Steele on Wednesday. ‘So this is a brutal murder of a little boy.’

Ruth has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held in Cape May County. She awaits extradition to Montgomery County.

Matthew was a sixth grader at Germantown Academy. He ‘was an extraordinary child with a smile as bright as the sun’, according to the school.

‘We loved him, and we will forever mourn his loss, a devastating tragedy for our community, his family, his friends, and our world,’ stated the academy. ‘Matthew is the embodiment of love, promise and goodness, and we will never, ever forget him.’

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