SAN JOSE, Calif. (KION) The father of a San Jose boy who police believes was killed by his mother has started a GoFudMe, and in it, he shared memories of his son.
Las Vegas Metropolitan police said 7-year-old Liam Husted was found dead last month on a Las Vegas-area hiking trail. His mother, 35-year-old Samantha Moreno Rodriguez, was identified as a suspect and arrested in Denver on one count of open murder.
Liam's father used the GoFundMe to share more about who his son was.
"This stud always had a smile on his face, and he was always ready for an adventure. He was quick and witty and knew exactly how to get what he wanted, he was funny, he had style and so much charisma. He always made his presence known and he was so handsome. Sure he could be a handful at times but he was worth every bit of it and more. I always knew he was a star," he wrote.
Liam's father reportedly returned home on May 24 to find Rodriguez and Liam gone. He got a message from Rodriguez saying they were leaving him and would find a new house. Police said there was nothing suspicious in the message that would have led him to think his son was in danger.
Because he did not want to get Rodriguez in trouble and had no reason to think his son was in any danger, he did not contact the police until June 1. He did not file a parental abduction report when he contacted the department.
On June 4, a friend saw a sketch of the body found by Las Vegas police and contacted San Jose police to report that he looked similar to Liam. Investigators collected DNA to positively identify the body as Liam.
"Every morning I wake up and break down once I realize it’s not a bad nightmare we’re in because he deserved so much more," Liam's father wrote. "Most people don’t realize how brilliant children on the spectrum are and he was no different. The hardest part of all this is that he was taken away from me by the one person he should have been able to trust, so he must have been so scared and confused and I just wasn’t there to protect him."