The sound of children screaming Sunday night led neighbors in southwest Miami-Dade to a gruesome discovery: a handicapped grandmother raising three adopted children murdered by her own daughter.
A neighbor found Sonia Santiesteban, 66, dead on the floor while her daughter, Yudenia Rodriguez, 40, hid with a knife in another room, reports CBS Miami.
"The kids didn’t want to leave the grandma’s side…they were just crying for their grandmother they just kept saying 'Abuelita, Abuelita.' It was a real sad moment,” the neighbor told the news station.
The dispute began when Santiesteban asked her daughter to move out, according to NBC 6. When Santiesteban's 15-year-old granddaughter tried to call 911, Rodriguez, her aunt, slapped her and grabbed the phone, according to police, before reportedly stabbing her mother to death.
Santiesteban was raising her adopted biological granddaughter and her two half-siblings in order to keep the siblings together after the parents' lost custody, according to The Miami Herald. She never told the siblings she wasn't their blood relative.
In a 2012 interview with El Nuevo Herald, she gushed over the children: "They've changed my life. They adore me. They make my life happier. For them I quit smoking."
At the daughter's court appearance Monday, Rodriguez told the judge that her mother "didn't die" and according to courtroom video, writhed in her handcuffs while occasionally appearing to fall asleep. See the video below.
The judge has ordered an immediate psych evaluation.
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