Madera parents plead guilty in death of 2-year-old Thaddeus Sran

Alyssa Flores Image
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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The parents of a toddler found dead in Madera have now pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter charges in connection with his death.

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The parents of a toddler found dead in Madera have now pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter charges in connection with his death.

It comes nearly two years after police discovered the gruesome circumstances surrounding the disappearance of 2-year-old Thaddeus Sran.

On Monday, his mother, Briseida Sran, also pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter charges for the death of her baby girl years earlier.

Cameras were not allowed inside the courtroom, but Briseida was described as not showing any emotion as she submitted her plea.

The toddler that captured the attention of Madera community members was a stranger to most when they first saw his picture in July of 2020.

His parents had reported their special needs 2-year-old missing.

They speculated he'd been kidnapped through the window near his crib.

For days, complete strangers handed out flyers, hung posters and searched for Thaddeus.

But it wasn't long before Madera police found the boy's burned body in a nearby orchard. His parents were arrested.

Soon, additional charges were brought against Briseida for the death of her four-month-old daughter, Devina, in 2015.

District Attorney Sally Moreno says it took a lot of negotiating to reach a plea deal with the couple.

"It was very important to us that they accept responsibility and not just for the killing of Thaddeus, but for the killing of Devina earlier," said Moreno.

Briseida pleaded guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter, one count of mutilating human remains, and two counts of child abuse in the deaths of her son and daughter.

She's expected to be sentenced to 28 years and 8 months in prison. Her husband, Sukhjinder, pleaded guilty to one count of voluntary manslaughter. He's expected to spend 11 years behind bars.

It's a case that felt personal to the entire city.

Victoria Castaneda and her friends never met Thaddeus, but they organized searches for him when he was first reported missing.

And once they learned what happened to the toddler, they planned a vigil in his honor.

Months later, the group was involved in an effort to dedicate a playground within Centennial Park, which caters to children with special needs, to Thaddeus.

"You are supposed to love them. You are supposed to take care of them. You are supposed to protect them. And clearly Thaddeus never had that in his life. So that's where we came in. And we wanted to be the mom he never had," Castaneda said.

The couple is expected to be sentenced on July 29 at 10 am at Madera Superior Court.