A former New Jersey woman who had claimed more than a quarter of a century ago that her five-year-old son had disappeared while the two were attending a carnival has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for the killing of the little boy, though prosecutors wanted her sent away for the rest of her life.

Prosecutors in New Jersey’s Middlesex County were seeking life in prison for 49-year-old Michelle Lodzinski for the 1991 murder of her son -- a crime they’re describing as “one of the most notorious crimes” in the history of the county. Instead, a judge on Thursday imposed the 30-year sentence, the minimum allowed by New Jersey law.

“Despite her efforts to conceal one of the most notorious crimes in the history of Middlesex County by killing her son, dumping his remains in a swamp, falsely claiming he was abducted by strangers, and spearheading a desperate search for a child she knew was already dead, Michelle Lodzinski was sentenced to the minimum sentence permitted under the law,” Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in a statement criticizing the sentence.

Lodzinski claimed son disappeared when she went to get a soda

The case dates back to May of 1991 when Lodzinski -- then a 23-year-old single mom -- had reported her son Timothy was missing, telling police he had vanished after she went to get a soda as the two attended the carnival in Sayreville, New Jersey.

Hundreds of volunteers spent days searching for the boy, with the search coming to a sad ending nearly a year later when Timothy’s remains were found in a swamp in nearby Edison.

Case had gone cold until 2014

Though some investigators had long suspected Lodzinski had killed her son, it wasn’t until August of 2014 that the cold case was reopened when prosecutors were able to link Lodzinski to a child’s blanket that was found near the boy’s remains.

Lodzinski was subsequently arrested in Fort Lucie, Florida, where she lived with her two teenage boys, who were both born after Timothy’s death.

Prosecutors say Lodzinski showed no remorse during the trial and declined to address the court before being sentenced. She’ll be eligible for parole after serving 27 years and five months in prison.

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