Nearly a quarter-century after she reported him missing, Michelle Lodzinski has been found guilty of murdering her 5-year-old son. The conviction closes one of New Jersey's "most notorious cold cases," the New York Times reports. Lodzinski told police that her son, Timothy "Timmy" Wiltsey, disappeared from a carnival in Sayreville, N.J., on May 25, 1991, saying she turned away from him for a few minutes to get a soda and when she turned back around, he was gone. A search ensued, including a helicopter and a scuba team. Timmy's disappearance was featured on America's Most Wanted, and his photo appeared on milk cartons. In April of 1992, police identified human remains found in a creek at an industrial park as Timmy's.
Investigators had for some time suspected that Lodzinski, now 48, was involved with Timmy's disappearance, NJ.com reports. Ultimately, it was child's blanket found near Timmy's remains that cracked the case some two decades later. During the eight-week trial, three witnesses recalled seeing the blanket at Lodzinski's home. "She dumped his body in a creek like a piece of trash, but she left behind a telling clue: this blanket, " the prosecutor said. "No other killer could get this." Before her 2014 arrest, Lodzinski was living in Florida with her two teenage sons. When the guilty verdict was read Wednesday, per NJ.com, there was a gasp in the courtroom and Lodzinski began to shake. She faces life in prison. "I hate to say I'm very happy about it, but I am happy," a former teacher from Timmy's school says. "It took 25 years, and we knew back then that she was guilty." Lodzinski plans to appeal.