Jurors find woman guilty nearly 8 years after stepson’s battered body turned up in Hollywood

Analiz Osceola awaits sentencing for aggravated manslaughter, child neglect, providing false information to police

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Jurors have found Analiz Osceola, the woman who was standing trial for the 2015 death in Hollywood of her 3-year-old stepson Ahziya, guilty.

The jury announced the verdict Friday in Broward County court on the charges of aggravated manslaughter, child neglect, and providing false information to law enforcement.

Ahziya’s body was bruised and battered when detectives found him dead in the home on March 22, 2015, in Hollywood, after she reported him missing. The two-day search involved Hollywood police, Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies, and Seminole Tribe officers.

Osceola, also known as Analiz Rodezno, confessed to hiding his body in the laundry room. Broward County Assistant State Attorney Neva Rainford-Smith had a question for the jury during closing statements:

“What could be more flagrant than a person who watches that child die, then stuffs him in that box after wrapping him in garbage bags?”

During his closing statement, Attorney William Cone, Jr., who represented Osceola, said she did the best she could to take care of him when his parents didn’t and he shared pictures that he said she had shot.

“She gave him Pedialyte, she gave him crackers,” Cone said, “She stayed in the room with him. She watched to make sure what was going on.”

Dr. Marlon Osbourne, a medical examiner who examined Ahziya’s body told jurors on Wednesday that the little boy had ingested fentanyl, cocaine, and heroin.

“None of them should be in a three-year-old body,” Osbourne said about the toxicology report’s findings.

Osbourne told the jury that Ahziya had suffered a “laceration on the chin,” had a “contusion” between his ear and cheek” and had suffered “injuries on the interior side of the neck.” The jury also looked at X-rays of Ahziya’s broken leg, which Osbourne said likely caused him to suffer pain.

“I don’t believe it was treated,” Osbourne said later adding, “I don’t believe the child could have survived without medical attention.”

Ahziya’s father, Nelson Osceola, lived with them at the home of the crime scene, but he described her as the boy’s main caretaker.

“She called me and said my son was missing,” he said during his testimony in court on March 7.

The Florida Department of Children and Families reported that before Ahziya vanished the state was already aware that he had been the victim of abuse and neglect. His biological mother, Karen Cypress Delgado, had lost custody of him.

“I had been drinking and we was in a hotel room and I had fell asleep and he had gotten out,” Cypress Delgado said in court when she testified on March 3.

Despite it all, Latoshia Huell, a Seminole Tribe of Florida preschool teacher, described Ahziya during her testimony in court as “a happy little fellow” who enjoyed playing with other kids.

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About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.