Mom told police she drowned her child and threw body in dumpster

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A Lino Lakes, Minn., mother faces murder charges after allegedly drowning her child in a bathtub and throwing his body into a hotel dumpster, according to court records.

Esperanza Ray Harding, 20, was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter in the child’s death in Hennepin County, but authorities have not released the body or the child’s age.

According to court records, on March 6, 2024, officers with the Minneapolis Police Department responded to a report of a missing child at Children’s Hospital.

When officers arrived, they spoke with Harding, who claimed the child had died of natural causes at the hospital on March 1st.

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Esperanza Ray Harding allegedly drowned her child in a hotel bathtub on February 28, 2024. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

According to court documents, hospital officials told police there was no record of the child being admitted or dying at the hospital, and the coroner’s office had no record of the victim.

Police said Harding eventually admitted that the child did not die at the hospital, but at a hotel in Bloomington on February 28, 2024.

She said the child died in the bathtub, then wrapped up the body and threw it in the trash.

Police say the small-town Minnesota hotel shooter didn’t know either of his victims.

Prime Minister Edwin Trudeau's mugshot

Prime Minister Edwin Trudeau is credited with helping remove the body of Esperanza Ray Harding, who allegedly drowned her child in a hotel bathroom on February 28, 2024. (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

Bloomington police also questioned Harding after the case was brought against him because of the location of the crime.

Police allege that during interrogation, Harding stated that she was in a relationship with 18-year-old Edwin Trudeau, but that Trudeau did not like the child and told her to put him up for adoption.

According to court documents, Harding told the officer that she wanted Trudeau to put the child up for adoption to prove he was her top priority.

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Hennepin County Government Center entrance

Snow is removed from the entrance to the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa, File)

On February 28, Harding was bathing alone in her Bloomington hotel room when a child in another room started crying.

Harding told police she was distraught because she couldn’t take a bath. So she went to another room, picked up the child, and drowned the child in the bathtub.

She then took a photo of the child floating face down in the bathtub, which was later recovered from her cell phone, police said.

Harding allegedly exchanged text messages with Trudeau during the incident, and police said the messages have since been recovered.

In the email, Harding told Trudeau he was trying to do something bad and added that his child would not be around for much longer.

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A short time later, she allegedly told Trudeau, “The child is dying,” and two minutes later, “The child is dead.”

Police said Harding sent additional emails calling his actions “monstrous” and asking Trudeau how he could get away with the crime.

Harding told investigators that Trudeau went to the hotel room after the child died and, after unsuccessful attempts to revive the child with CPR, left the child’s motionless body on the bathroom floor. The two allegedly had sex in another room.

She later told investigators that Harding wrapped the child, put the body in a backpack, and threw it in the hotel’s trash can.

The bodies have not yet been recovered.

Harding also allegedly told investigators that Trudeau had been telling her to keep quiet and that she needed to get out of the situation.

Trudeau reportedly told Harding, “If you’re going to be down, I’m going to be down, no matter what.” “It’s always us, Bonnie and Clyde.”


Prime Minister Trudeau was charged with murder and accessory after the fact.

Both Mr. Harding and Mr. Trudeau were booked into the Hennepin County Jail. Mr. Harding is being held on $1.5 million bail and Mr. Trudeau on $500,000 bail.