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'Why did I have a child?' Connecticut mom posted chilling tweet before killing son, 8, and burning home

Karin Ziolkowski suffocated her son Elijah before lighting two fires inside their house on November 14, 2016
Karin Ziolkowski found guilty of killing her 8-year-old (New Haven Police Department)
Karin Ziolkowski found guilty of killing her 8-year-old (New Haven Police Department)

MERIDEN, CONNECTICUT: A Meriden mother has been found guilty of killing her 8-year-old son and setting their residence ablaze with a tiki torch in 2016, according to the State's Attorney Office. 

Authorities claim that Karin Ziolkowski suffocated her son Elijah on November 14, 2016, before setting two fires inside their house. Responding officers found the 8-year-old's body unresponsive and emergency crews were not able to revive him. After performing an autopsy, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that the cause of death was a homicide - asphyxiation as well as intoxication from a deadly amount of antihistamine diphenhydramine found in Benadryl, according to Law&Crime


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Karin lit a fire in the basement, a first-floor bedroom, and on her and Elijah's clothing, as per court records. The documents also stated that when Ziolkowski was asked about the happenings of the day, she told the officers she was unable to recall anything and had not hurt her child. 

During investigation, a series of concerning social media posts shared by Ziolkowski came to light. A warrant acquired by the Record-Journal reportedly cites her tweet from November 10, 2016, which included terms such as "fire extinguisher" and "devil’s playground," as well as "#takethatasyouwill." On November 11, the Connecticut mother tweeted the phrase "empty promises," which was followed by "#takethatasyouwill." One day later, the convict tweeted, "Why did I have a child?" as noted by the local daily newspaper. 

Investigators arrested Ziolkowski in October 2017 in North Carolina, where she fled after killing Elijah. According to the Hartford Courant, she was dealing with depression and marital issues prior to her son's death. Ziolkowski and her mother confessed to the authorities that the former's husband would verbally abuse her. She filed for divorce from her husband which was disregarded by a state judge due to "lack of diligence," just a week before Elijah's death. 

"Our thoughts are with Elijah’s family at this time and we hope this verdict eases some of the suffering they’ve endured after the unimaginable loss of a child,"  said New Haven State Attorney John P Doyle, Jr. "We also would like to extend our appreciation to the Meriden police, firefighters and EMTs as well as those in the Division of Scientific Services and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner who worked on this case. Though they are trained to handle investigations involving the deaths of children, we know this work can take a toll both physically and emotionally."

Ziolkowski is scheduled to appear in New Haven Superior Court on January 10, 2023, for her sentence hearing. The convict has been found guilty of one count each of murder and second-degree arson. She is facing a sentence of 25 years in prison.