Minnesota: land of perpetual horror

Another incident illustrates how quickly the downward spiral is accelerating.

Esperanza Rae Harding, age 20, no permanent address, is being held on $1,500,000 bail, accused of murdering her 7-month-old son, Mateo.

I’m choosing my words carefully. The details, as outlined in the complaint, are (small “d”) demonic.

The basic facts, as alleged by the Bloomington police department, have Ms. Harding drowning Mateo in the bathtub of her Bloomington Quality Inn hotel room on February 28. Allegedly aided by her accomplice/boyfriend (not the father) Edwin Cosmo Trudeau, the boy’s body was disposed of in a hotel dumpster.

The couple then consummated their heinous act (literally, figuratively?) on the hotel bed a few feet from the bathtub, and Mateo’s body, lying on the bathroom floor.

Harding tried to pass off the boy’s death as having occurred by natural causes in hospital on March 1. Police (Minneapolis, then Bloomington) began investigating on March 6. She was jailed the following day.

Since then, authorities have been scouring a local landfill for the remains of young Mateo, to no avail.

Harding is charged with 2nd degree murder. Trudeau, age 18 of Minnetonka, is charged with being an accomplice after the fact and is in jail with bail set at $500,000.

Harding and Trudeau had their first court appearance last Friday and are scheduled to return on April 3. For the record, since I have been asked this question on Twitter (X), both defendants are classified as white.

KSTP-TV reports that Mateo’s relatives, including his biological father, are grieving for him. KSTP quotes a family friend as saying,

We just want to find Mateo. We just want justice for him to be able to give him a proper burial.

Justice? That’s going to be a little tricky. First, the cases are officially in the hands of the notoriously soft-on-crime Hennepin County prosecutor, Mary Moriarty.

Second, last year, Minnesota Democrats essentially decriminalized the crime of aiding and abetting felony murder. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported last month,

The new law says a person cannot be charged under the state’s aiding and abetting felony murder doctrine if they did not cause or intend to cause death or act as a major participant in the underlying crime.

It’s not clear how this law change would affect Trudeau’s case, if at all.

On a different note, we have been unable find any mention, in media accounts, of any grandparents of baby Mateo.

Meanwhile, the Mateo Harding case provides another opportunity for Minnesota to get national attention.