Ruth DiRienzo-Whitehead, Horsham, Pennsylvania mother strangles 11 year old son cause she didn’t want him growing up poor and dealing with the family’s financial struggles.
The American Dream isn’t working out for everyone. A Pennsylvania mom allegedly strangled her 11-year-old son with a belt because she didn’t want him growing up with the family’s financial struggles, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Ruth DiRienzo-Whitehead, 50, of Horsham, was charged with the murder of 11 year old son, Matthew Whitehead after the boy was found dead inside the family’s Horsham home Tuesday morning, according to The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
The mom, a local real estate agent, told investigators her sixth-grade son was ‘crying off and on all day’ over the family’s financial problems, according to a criminal complaint.
DiRienzo-Whitehead admitted strangling Matthew so the boy wouldn’t have ‘to grow up with these struggles.’
Prosecutors allege DiRienzo-Whitehead killed her son after he went to sleep at about 9:30 p.m. Monday and then drove the family SUV about 120 miles south to Cape May, New Jersey, where she drove the vehicle ‘into the ocean just off Beach Avenue.’
‘She absolutely loved her son’
Police were called to the family’s home just after 7 a.m. Tuesday after the boy’s father discovered his son’s body in the master bedroom where he’d gone to sleep with his mom a night earlier.
The dad had found the bedroom locked and his wife and their SUV missing, prosecutors said. It wasn’t immediately clear where DiRienzo-Whitehead’s husband slept before making the macabre discovery.
Prosecutors allege DiRienzo-Whitehead fled the home after strangling her son and drove 120 miles to Cape May, New Jersey, where she drove her SUV into the ocean.
The belt used in the slaying was later discovered in the vehicle, prosecutors said.
DiRienzo-Whitehead was arrested a short time later after walking six miles to a nearby neighborhood where the family has a beach home, WSAZ reported.
News of the boy’s murder at the hands of his mother, left those who knew DiRienzo in disbelief, saying that the mom, ‘absolutely loved her son.’
A neighbor, Ed Smith, told WFMZ-TV that the boy’s death was ‘very tragic’ and the case was ‘surprising.’
Social media showed living the good life
‘Very nice people. Good neighbors,’ he told the station. Smith and his wife, Diane, said they have known the boy’s mother for more than four decades.
A regard of DiRienzo-Whitehead Facebook page appeared to show the family enjoy the privileges of fine dining, vacations along with a well to do home setting. Or was that perhaps a charade?
DiRienzo-Whitehead was booked with first and third-degree murder charges, as well as possession of an instrument of crime after an autopsy carried out Wednesday concluded the boy’s death was due to strangulation.
DiRienzo-Whitehead is currently being held in Cape May and will be extradited back to Montgomery County to be arraigned on the charges, prosecutors said.
‘I want to thank Cape May Police, Wildwood Crest Police and Cape May Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland’s Office for their assistance with apprehending this mother who killed her son and with other aspects of this investigation,’ Montgomery County DA Kevin Steele said.
‘Their quick action and help in this investigation will play an integral part of holding the defendant accountable for the terrible killing of this boy.’
It wasn’t immediately clear what alleged financial difficulties the family were facing and what remedies they had sought to avail themselves.