Deputy Police Chief Edward Tomba said additional charges were likely when a Cuyahoga County grand jury takes up the case against Camilia Terry, 20, in the death of her middle son, Emilliano.
Tomba said investigators were reviewing the woman's online song and comment postings, which could provide clues to a possible motive. The online postings reflect a life of sexual and physical abuse, loneliness and a dream that someone she knew was going to die.
County Medical Examiner Thomas Gilson joined Tomba at a news conference and said the cause of death hadn't been determined yet.
In addition, Gilson said his office was awaiting a DNA sample from the mother to make a positive identification of the partially decomposed body.
Camilia Terry had reported the child missing from a park Sunday. She came under suspicion Monday when her version changed on how the boy disappeared.
Police have searched Terry's apartment looking for clues as to where the child was killed but it wasn't clear if the boy was killed there, Tomba said. "There's no glaring indication that this is where this alleged crime took place," he said.
Nothing has turned up in the investigation indicating anyone else was involved in killing the boy, the deputy chief said.
Detectives have been questioning the woman's family and neighbors to determine when the boy was last seen and help set a time of death. Tomba said that, at this point, detectives think he was last seen by someone outside his apartment on Thanksgiving Eve.
Terry is expected to be arraigned Thursday. Prosecutors will then present the case to a grand jury.
The suspect's two other sons, one 5 years old and the other 5 months old, are in county custody.
The dead boy is the third generation of his family involved in county social services, Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan said.
The family history with the agency extends back to 2000, and a neglect complaint against Terry's mother, the dead boy's grandmother. Over the years there were more neglect complaints, some unsubstantiated, and later similar neglect complaints against Terry over the handling of her children, Madigan said.