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San Jose mother accused of killing child in Nevada has been arrested

AP News

DENVER, Colo. (KION/CBS4 Denver) The San Jose mom accused of killing her own son and leaving his body in a Nevada desert has been arrested in Denver, Colorado.

Samantha Moreno Rodriguez was tracked down by authorities who say she checked in to a Denver metro area hotel room on May 31.

Rodriguez was taken into custody Tuesday morning and is facing murder charges in connection to the death of her son, 7-year-old Liam Husted. Investigators with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said Rodriguez was not alone when she was found, but they believe the man she was with was not involved.

Husted's body was found on a hiking trail near Las Vegas on May 28, a day after he and his mother were believed to be at a hotel in Las Vegas. Investigators believe he was killed in the area where his body was found.

Police said in a news conference Tuesday afternoon that Liam's father returned home on May 24 to find that he and Rodriguez were not there and that their belongings were gone. He got a message from Rodriguez that said "Sorry I had to do it like this" and that she would get a house for her and Liam. She said she would talk to him later.

After about a week, the father did not hear from either of them and was not sure what to do, so he called San Jose police on June 1 to document the situation. He reportedly chose not to file a child abduction police report because he and investigators believed there was nothing suspicious in the message.

On June 4, a friend of Rodriguez saw a sketch of the boy found on the hiking trail and knew that Rodriguez was missing, so she contacted San Jose police, and officers launched an investigation. The following day, a detective from Las Vegas traveled to San Jose to get a pillow with DNA for forensics. That was used to confirm that the body found was Liam.

Rodriguez is expected to be booked into a Denver metro area jail pending her extradition to Las Vegas.

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Victor Guzman

Victor Guzman is the managing editor at KION News Channel 5/46.

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