Tiaundra Christon was sentenced to 20 years in prison after dumping her 2-year-old’s body into a lake and purchasing a life-sized doll that she pretended was her child, two years ago.
Christon made a 911 call to police on October 28, 2018, stating her 2-year-old daughter, Hazana Anderson, was missing. The mother stated she “lost track” of the toddler after taking her to Gibbard Park in College Station, claiming the girl had climbed out of her stroller and ran off while her back was turned.
So when police arrived at the park to speak with the mother, while they did find an empty stroller nearby, they also saw no signs of Hazana. As they searched around the area, it became clear that Christon’s story did not check out.
Investigators discovered a life-sized doll by a nearby trash can, which had been trashed in the garbage across from where Christon had parked her car. And upon further investigation, the doll appeared to be dressed in clothing that matched the description Christon gave of what her daughter was last seen wearing.
Christon had been carting the doll around for days, pretending it was Hazana.
Friends later reported seeing Christon with who they thought to be her child. According to Walmart surveillance footage, the mother continued the ruse by pushing what looked to be her daughter in a stroller. When in actuality, it was the life-sized doll.
It became clear and quickly that Hazana was not missing, but dead.
As police continued to investigate, they discovered the toddler had actually died at the Downtowner Inn in Houston where Christon had been staying with her boyfriend, Kenny Hewett, over the course of multiple days.
October 19, 2018, Hewett allegedly left the hotel with Hazana to get some food. But when they returned about 30 minutes later, the child was crying profusely, and Hewett was quickly losing his temper.
According to records, it was then that Hewett began “violently” beating the 2-year-old, “hitting the child with a belt” and creating welts “to her legs, arms and face.”
He then ordered Christon to do the same, and the mother did so. After Hewett accused her of not hitting the child hard enough, he took back the belt and continued hitting Hazana himself. It was not clear how long the beating lasted.
Christon informed police she could observe her daughter going in and out of consciousness. Hewett then stopped but instead of calling 911, the pair decided to put the child in a bathtub in an effort to revive her but they were unsuccessful.
It was when Christon lifted her child from the tub that she realized the full extent of her injuries. The mother also informed police that she could tell the child had also been sexually abused but did not confirm when it happened or by who.
Christon also said her daughter felt cold to the touch, so she, along with Hewett, attempted to warm up the child with a hairdryer. They used the device for such a long period of time that they burned their child’s skin. Christon told police that her daughter died later that night. And while it was unclear what precise time the child passed away, it was known that both Christon and Hewett did not seek help.
Christon eventually confessed to hiding her daughter’s dead body inside a plastic bag and storing it in the back seat of her car for three days straight. And then, on October 23, she and Hewett tied a rope around the bag and attached it to a heavy rock before dropping it into Moses Lake in Texas City.
Just after her confession, Christon led police to her daughter’s body. A dive team eventually recovered and identified Hazana’s remains in Moses Lake.
In addition, Christon confessed to purchasing the life-size doll and dressing it just like her daughter, Hazana, when she returned home to Houston. She was seen pushing the doll around town in a stroller but it did not fool the community for long.
No one has been charged with Hazana’s death. Hazana’s father, Tobodrick Anderson, shared his shock with ABC 13 last year.
“I spoke briefly with the district attorney and it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but the autopsy report couldn’t really show cause of death,” he revealed to the outlet in late 2019. “So, for that reason, that’s why the murder charges weren’t pursued.”
And over a year later, the murder charges still haven’t been filed.
A medical examiner who testified during Christon’s trial this month explained that the injuries that caused the bruising on Hazana’s body would not have been enough to cause her death. They ultimately were unable to determine an exact cause that would amount to homicide charges. Ultimately, Hewett and Christon were charged with tampering with evidence with intent to impair a human corpse.
And on December 11, the 23-year-old mother was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison as well as a $10,000 fine. Christon must serve at least five years in prison before she is eligible for parole.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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