Twenty-five years ago, a mother told police her young son had gone missing at a carnival in suburban New Jersey.
Nearly a year later, the boy's remains were found in a marsh in 1992.
Now, decades after his death, the mom received a hefty sentence that a judge says will last until she's "old and gray."
On January 5, that 30-year sentence was handed to 49-year-old Michelle Lodzinski, who had been convicted last May of murdering 5-year-old Timothy Wiltsey in 1991.
In describing the child's murder, Assistant Prosecutor Christie Bevacqua spared no details. According to NJ.com, she said,
She coldly and callously murdered her child and threw his body in a ditch. She left him to decompose so that a cause of death was never determined. A mother who kills her child should spend the rest of her life in prison. The rest of her life.
Lodzinski was 23 years old when Wiltsey's body was found in Edison, New Jersey, the town where she worked at the time, according to NJ.com.
Last March, retired investigator James O'Brien described for the jury at Middlesex County Court how law enforcement officials had found the boy's body.
By the time the police's two-days search led them to the body on April 23, 1992, all that was left were the boy's skeletal remains, according O'Brien's account, which was detailed in another NJ.com report.
One photo of the remains showed Wiltsey's skull, an image which during sentencing Judge Dennis Nieves told Lodzinkski he would "never forget."
Still, there had never been any forensic evidence that linked the mother to the boy's death, nor had any cause of death been determined.
But Lodzinski's undoing appears to have been the inconsistency of her stories. She first began by telling police her son had disappeared while she wasn't paying attention, then later said he was taken at knifepoint by a friend.
Judge Nieves told the mother while sentencing her,
The reason you were found guilty, Michelle Lodzinski, is because the jury believed that you lied, you lied, you lied again. You lied, you lied and you lied.
Clearly, the belief that she lied was enough to damn her to 30 years in prison.