The desire of one lawyer to get to the truth about the death of a young child is highlighted in a new documentary detailing the case of Mayra Rosales, a severely obese woman who was charged with the murder of her young nephew.
The story surrounding this case is filled with misdirection and facts that didn't hold up against the scrutiny of a veteran lawyer and local authorities.
The story began March 2008 in La Joya, Texas, when 2-year old Eliseo Rosales Jr. was rushed to the hospital with severe head trauma. A few hours later, doctors had pronounced the young boy dead and the search was on for his killer.
The boy's aunt, Mayra Rosales, was charged with his death, and initially took responsibility for the death of her nephew by insisting that she had fallen on top of him accidentally.
After a medical review, officials declared the injuries were not consistent with the cause of death and determined that only a severe blow to the head could have caused Eliseo's passing.
Rosales' attorney, Sergio Valdez, reviewed that case but was skeptical that Rosales was responsible for murder; the injuries did not match the events described as the cause of death, and also, the woman's size prevented her from moving at all on her own.
"It would have required her to have to swing her arm to strike the child on the head but she could never move her arm in that manner," Valdez told The Brownsville Herald.
However, Rosales maintained that she was responsible for her nephew's death even after repeated questions were raised regarding her account of the events.
Nearly two years after young Eliseo died, the boy's killer remained on the loose and the stress was starting to kill Rosales. Valdez felt that she was innocent, but needed her help in order to prove it.
After the attorney's repeated attempts to get her to tell the truth, Rosales finally recanted her story and confessed she had invented the sad tale. The overweight woman was protecting her sister Jaime Rosales, whom she claimed struck the boy numerous times over his head and body with a hairbrush.
Mayra and her husband Bernie had lived with her sister Jaime, who had been caring for her when Mayra became so large she could barely to walk.
"We were all trying to cover for my sister," she said. "There was abuse from her toward her son. I thought I was dying anyway so I decided to admit that I'd done it to protect my sister because I love her."
The only problem was that her sister Jaime was nowhere to be found. To see the conclusion of this dramatic story tune in to TLC's "Half-Ton Killer," which premiers on Wednesday Oct. 10 at 9:00 p.m. ET.