A Texas woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for tampering with a corpse: that of her own 2-year-old daughter. The body of Hazana Anderson was found in a weighted-down bag in a lake near Houston in October 2018, reports People. A few days earlier, the girl's mother, Tiaundra Christon, had called 911 to report that the toddler had gone missing in a park in College Station, some 140 miles away. As a search ensued, police made a chilling discovery: a life-sized doll in a trash can near the park dressed up as Hazana. Police say Christon had been toting around the doll as a ruse before reporting her missing, per KPRC. When confronted about the doll, Christon admitted that Hazana had in fact died in a Houston hotel room, where Christon had stayed with her boyfriend, according to an affidavit.
Authorities say Christon, 23, and Kenny Hewett, 34, both beat the girl with a belt in the hotel room, reports KBTX. Investigators say the girl also was sexually assaulted. Christon told authorities she attempted unsuccessfully to revive Hazana when the girl lost consciousness, then left the child's body in her car for three days before disposing of it in the lake. Hazana's cause of death was never determined. Hewett pleaded guilty to tampering with a corpse in November 2019 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Christon pleaded not guilty to the same charge at trial this month. She was convicted after 20 minutes of jury deliberation on Dec. 11 and sentenced on Monday. “Ms. Christon was in a bad situation with an extremely abusive man that got completely out of hand," says her attorney. (Read more child death stories.)