CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A search warrant reveals new chilling details in connection to the drowning of a 2-year-old boy at a south Charlotte park last March.
The warrant states that the toddler’s mother, identified as Natalia Suero, believed her 2-year-old son was possessed by demons and that’s why she’s accused of letting him drown in a pond at Park Road Park and has been charged with first-degree murder in his death.
CMPD officers responded to calls on March 12, 2022, when Suero’s son, identified as Jonathan Suero, was found face-up in a pond at Park Road Park. The child was rushed to Atrium Main where he was pronounced deceased, police said.
In the first search warrant that was executed on March 30, 2022, where digital media was seized, CMPD detectives said Suero gave vague and inconsistent statements about what happened.
She told officers she “blacked out” and was unable to give them an exact timeline.
A second search warrant for an Apple iPhone has revealed more details in connection to the murder case. An off-duty CMPD officer reported that he had arrived at the park around 8:15 a.m. on March 12, 2022. The officer reported seeing a vehicle driven by Suero already at the park.
The off-duty officer said Suero had approached him just after 9 a.m. to report her son in the water. Suero left the park and did not go to the correct hospital, CMPD officers said.
Officers were sent to her apartment where they met with Suero’s mother. Officers informed Suero’s live-in mother, the toddler’s grandmother, what happened. Suero’s own mother asked officers if Suero threw her 2-year-old child into the water, CMPD said.
According to the search warrant, Suero later showed up at her apartment and was voluntarily interviewed by detectives. She told police that she and her son were headed to the store when she decided to pull into the park and take him for a walk.
Suero said she knew her son “to be a runner and that he loved the water.” She reportedly got him out of the car and left him unattended while she got the stroller out of the trunk. Suero told CMPD officers when she looked up, her son was running toward the water.
She stated that her son ran down a hill toward the pond. She said that she could not catch up to him and said that when he dove into the water, he began swimming; describing it as a freestyle swim. CMPD said Suero advised that he could not swim and had never had lessons.
Suero told officers that she went into the water after him. He reportedly went underwater and she could not locate him. She said that she left the water and located police.
She approximated the time to be 10-15 minutes, CMPD said. She also said that she left her phone in the apartment during the entire incident.
CMPD detectives later discovered that Suero’s location services on her cell phone had been turned off but the phone was still on. Before the reported drowning, she had Google searched “possessed child.”
Detectives contacted an aquatics death expert and informed them of the facts of the case. The expert advised that there were “several inconsistencies in Suero’s story including the fact that he was last seen underwater and was then found floating; particularly face up.”
Detectives said they revisited Park Road Park to take more measurements. They noted that the hill the toddler was said to have run down did not have an official path, and had holes, fallen trees, and a large number of leaves and sticks.
Detectives said the distance from the parking lot was approximately 150 feet. Based on the size of the young child, they determined that the water would have been over his head at approximately 10 feet into the pond.
CMPD detectives said they spoke with Suero voluntarily a second time.
“This time her story differed. She advised that she was headed to a Publix grocery store and couldn’t advise where one was close to the park. Detectives verified that there are no nearby Publix grocery stores. They also noted that she drove past a Harris Teeter Store to get to the park,” the search warrant states.
During this second voluntary interview, she told CMPD officers that she did make it to her son in the water and had control of his arm. She said that her 2-year-old “struggled, got away from her, and floated away, all while at a depth over his head.”
When confronted with some of the discrepancies, Suero said her son “was teleported from her to where he was found by Jesus.” She said that she “believed he was possessed by demons and that she knew how to get rid of them.”
Suero advised CMPD detectives that she was glad that he was in a different place.
The Medical Examiner advised that when the child was admitted to the hospital, his core body temperature was 84 degrees. They estimated his body was in the water for about 1.5 hours.
Based on the current timeline, the unexplained discrepancies by Suero, and the information from the aquatics death expert and the Medical Examiner, CMPD stated in the search warrant there is probable cause to believe that Suero committed murder.
This case remains open and ongoing. Suero remains at the Mecklenburg County Detention Center on first-degree murder charges.