GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas — A Texas woman who threw her 2-year-old daughter’s body into a bayou — then used a life-sized doll to hide the girl’s death — in 2018 has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Tiaundra Kae Christon, 23, of College Station, was found guilty Dec. 11 of tampering with physical evidence with the intent to impair a corpse, according to Galveston County court records. She was sentenced Dec. 14 to the maximum for the crime, including a fine of $10,000.
It was Halloween 2018 when police divers pulled the body of Hazana Anderson from the water off Moses Lake in Texas City. The girl had been dead for about 12 days.
Galveston County Assistant District Attorney Justine Tan told KHOU in Houston that authorities were unable to charge Christon or her then-boyfriend, Kenny D’Shawn Hewett, with murder, despite Christon’s admissions about Hazana’s death.
“The medical examiner testified that she could not determine a cause of death or a time of death of the child,” Tan said in a statement. “She also testified that the injuries that caused the bruising to the child would not have been sufficient to cause her death.”
Hewett, who was found guilty of an identical charge as Christon in November, is already serving a 20-year prison sentence, the news station reported.
A probable cause affidavit written by Texas Ranger Joshua Ray details Hazana’s final hours and the massive search that was undertaken when Christon reported the girl missing.
The College Station Police Department received a 911 call from Christon around 9:21 a.m. Oct. 28, 2018, in which she reported that her daughter vanished from Gabbard Park. Christon claimed that the girl disappeared after she’d left her unattended in her stroller for a moment while she went to retrieve a bottle from their car.
Detectives almost immediately began noticing inconsistencies in Christon’s story. She told them she’d left Hazana alone for about a minute but “the child was not found in a reasonable search area to represent a young child’s possible travel in that short period of time,” the affidavit states.
There was a fishing pond close to the spot from which she said the girl vanished, but witnesses fishing in the pond did not hear or see a child or hear noise associated with someone going into the water, Ray wrote.
As police from multiple agencies canvassed the park, a state trooper found a doll — stuffed inside a large black purse — in a trash can located near Christon’s vehicle.
The doll was wearing Hazana’s clothes.
“(The trooper) told affiant that the doll was dressed in children’s clothing that matched the clothing description provided by Christon at the time of the missing person call,” the affidavit states.
When asked about the find, Christon admitted that the clothes were her daughter’s but said she did not know how they ended up on the doll. She was arrested for false report and abandonment of a child.
Read the probable cause affidavit in Christon’s case below, courtesy of KHOU.
Investigators later said that Christon pretended the doll was her daughter following the girl’s death, going so far as to take the doll to Walmart in Hazana’s stroller, KHOU reported.
College Station detectives learned that Christon was engaged to Hewett, who they located and interviewed. Hewett told them he had stayed at the Downtowner Inns & Suites in Houston with his fiancée and her daughter.
Hotel records showed that Hewett had checked into Room 209 on the evening of Oct. 17 and checked out three days later, according to the document. Cellphone records corroborated that both he and Christon were in Houston during that time frame.
Christon later told detectives that Hewett had taken Hazana with him the night of Oct. 19 to get food at a Taco Cabana restaurant and returned to the room 30 minutes later. The toddler was crying.
“She told Detective Wilson (that) Hewett was violently hitting (Hazana) with a belt, causing whelps to her legs, arms and face,” Ray wrote.
Hewett told Christon to “discipline her child” so she hit the girl a couple of times with the belt, as well, the affidavit states.
“According to Detective Wilson, Christon described Hewett as not being satisfied on how she hit (Hazana), so he took the belt and began hitting (her) again with the belt,” Ray wrote.
When Hazana started slipping in and out of consciousness, they put her in a bathtub of water to “run water on her face in an attempt to revive her.” At one point, the girl lost consciousness for the last time and Christon said she could no longer feel a pulse.
As she removed the girl from the tub, Christon saw signs that the girl had been sexually abused, according to the affidavit.
Christon told investigators that after they pulled Hazana from the tub, she was cold to the touch so they used a hair dryer to “warm her up.” Eventually, the appliance burned the girl’s skin.
She was unresponsive even as her skin was burned, and they realized she was dead.
Christon told detectives she and Hewett put Hazana’s body in a trash bag and placed it on the back floorboard of her vehicle, leaving her there for three days.
On Oct. 23, they drove to the area of Moses Lake, about 30 miles from the hotel, to dispose of the girl’s remains.
“Christon told affiant (that) Hewett assisted her by wrapping the bag and corpse in a rope and attaching a heavy rock,” Ray wrote.
Christon then tossed the girl into the water.
On Halloween, she led Ray and other detectives to her daughter’s body. Hewett was later interviewed again and corroborated many of the details Christon had given investigators.
He also pointed detectives to the exact same spot where they had found the girl’s body.
Cox Media Group