Babysitter Arrested in 11-Year-Old Cold Case

Pilar Rodriguez was abducted just before her 4th birthday

The former babysitter of a toddler that went missing 11 years ago has been charged with the little girl's murder, authorities announced Tuesday.

Melissa Harding-Jones faces an aggravated manslaughter of a child charge in connection with the death of Pilar Rodriguez, a 3-year-old girl who vanished after her parents let the child go with Harding-Jones on vacation.

She was arrested in Washington late Monday evening by Charlotte County Sheriff deputies and will be extradited back Florida to officially be arraigned. Harding-Jones has been living on the West Coast for several years, officials said.

Police haven't released details on why they brought charges against the former babysitter from Hollywood, but Rodriguez's family had suspected Harding-Jones for years.

Harding-Jones originally told police after the girl's disappearance that her boyfriend at the time had killed the toddler while they were on vacation in Punta Gorda and tossed her body in a lake in the area. Police could not verify the story and a decade went by without anyone being arrested.

Authorities are expected to release more details later today.

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