A California mother accused of murdering her 7-year-old son was arrested Tuesday, officials said.
Samantha Moreno Rodriguez, 35, was arrested in Denver, and booked pending extradition to Las Vegas, authorities said.
She is a suspect in the death of her son, Liam Husted, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department said. Police had obtained an arrest warrant seeking nationwide extradition for her.
A hiker found Liam’s body on May 28 near State Route 160 in Mountain Springs, Nevada. Police said the boy was a victim of a homicide.
Liam was identified after the Las Vegas Police Department worked with San Jose police to confirm his identity, Lt. Raymond Spencer said at the press conference Monday.
On Tuesday, Spencer said they believe Liam was alive on May 27, the day before his body was found. Rodriguez and her son stayed at a hotel in Las Vegas that day.
Rodriguez left San Jose with her son on May 24 in a dark blue 2008 Dodge Caliber hatchback. Spencer noted that the car was “packed with belongings.” Rodriguez and her son first traveled to Southern California before heading to Nevada, he said.
The boy’s father found a letter after Rodriguez and Liam went missing that included the lines “I’m sorry I had to do it like this,” and, “I’m going to try to get a house for Liam and I and we can talk about this in the future,” Spencer said Tuesday.
Liam’s father is not considered a suspect in the murder, police said. He reported Liam missing on June 1, a week after finding the letter, but didn’t think his son was in danger, Spencer said.
Rodriguez’s car was seen near Grand Junction Colorado on May 29. She checked into a Denver-area hotel room on May 31, police said.
A family friend alerted San Jose police June 4 that she hadn’t seen Rodriguez and her son for two weeks after she saw news coverage of the discovery of the boy’s body and recognized the sketch.
Police had asked the public to come forward with information on her whereabouts and released a photo of her and her vehicle’s license plate.
Officials said they weren’t aware of any prior child abuse in Liam’s case. There’s no motive for the homicide so far.
If you have any information, please contact LVMPD at (702)828-3521 or (702)828-2907, or the FBI at 1-800-225-5324.