Mom Allegedly Stabs 11-Year-Old to Death Over Fears She Might Be 'Active' With Boys

Close-up photo of Aleyda Rivera

If you're not already sitting, do yourself a favor and take a seat, because this is one of those stories that's almost too shocking to believe. According to People, a mother in Orlando, Florida, is accused of stabbing her 11-year-old daughter to death -- all because she suspected she was having sex.

  • The murder actually took place on March 10, though details from the story are just now starting to make national headlines.

    The mother, 28-year-old Rosa Rivera, reportedly pulled up to the Winnie Palmer Center for Women & Babies, and alerted medical staff to her daughter Aleyda, who was sitting in the passenger seat -- dead from more than a dozen stab wounds. 

    Rivera herself had a visible gash, though doctors later determined it was self-inflicted, and in her hand was a purple pocket knife, believed to be the murder weapon.

    In a press conference shortly after Rivera's arrest, Sheriff John Mina of the Orange County Police Department said the mother had driven around with her daughter's dying body for hours before pulling up to the medical center. And by then, it was clearly too late.

  • Advertisement
  • It's believed that Rivera even visited a nearby home twice during the hours her daughter's body lay bloodied in the front seat.

    "She did go to the address on Citadel [Drive]," Mina confirmed. "There was some discussion with the folks inside, some accusations, at one point left, and then did come back."

    Although further details about those exchanges -- or who exactly Rivera was meeting with -- are not immediately known, it's beyond heartbreaking to think that a mother could first allegedly stab her young daughter, and then leave her to die in the front seat when help was around.

  • But the most disturbing part of this story is what police know about the motive.

    "Our investigation revealed that Rosa Rivera killed her daughter because she wanted to prevent her from having sexual relations with men, but we believe that part of the investigation is unfounded,” Mina told reporters in March, according to News 13. "We are looking into that, but don’t believe it to be credible, although we are still continuing the investigation."

    Court documents show that Rivera first denied killing her daughter at all, but then later admitted to stabbing Aleyda because she smiled “different.” This -- for some reason -- is what led Rivera to think her daughter was sexually active

    According to Mina, however, here were no signs that Aleyda -- who was just 11 at the time of her death -- was sexually active at all.

  • Meanwhile, investigators say the mother's erratic behavior continued to escalate as her daughter's body was taken inside.

    Rivera reportedly cried out, "My baby is gone," before pulling a knife out on medical staff and becoming "combative."

    After a brief lockdown, Orlando Health security and officers were able to restrain her, and according to News 13 she was taken into custody.

  • Perhaps the most troubling aspect is that there were warning signs just days before the murder took place.

    According to People, public records released by the Orange-Osceola state attorney’s office show that a clerk at Westridge Middle School where Aleyda attended noticed something was strange when Rivera picked her daughter up two days prior.

    Rivera reportedly signed her daughter out of class before the end of the school day, and when she arrived she "seemed nervous." Aleyda, meanwhile, appeared to be "scared" and "cowering" at the sight of her mother -- a chilling detail, considering how the next 48 hours of her life would play out.

    "I’ve worked here in the front office for many years," the clerk told investigators. "I see a lot of things. I don’t know why they didn’t call DCF because I felt something about this girl."

  • Although Aleyda's family grieves her tragic and senseless death, they are also stunned by what her mother stands accused of.

    Aleyda's great aunt, who wished not to be named, said she had no idea what could have caused her niece, Rivera, to murder a daughter she loved so much. Speaking with KRGV in March, the aunt struggled through tears when recalling how Aleyda dreamed of becoming a chef and would ask to sing with her on the way to church.

    "She would say, let's go auntie, let's sing!" the aunt shared through a translator. "We would go inside the car and sing. I'm a soprano. She would say, 'I want to reach high, like you, auntie.' And I would tell her that one day, she will reach, and do even better." 

    For the time being, Rivera remains in jail without bond.

    She is charged with second-degree murder and aggravated manslaughter of a child, as well as battery of an officer. She has pleaded not guilty. Her case goes to trial in August.