The Las Vegas metropolitan area Police announced that Samantha Moreno Rodríguez, 35, was located and detained in Denver, Colorado, by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI, for its acronym in English) who were collaborating in the case to clarify the death of the minor Liam Husted, a resident of San José.
Husted was found dead on May 28 on a trail known as the Mountain Springs Trailhead, near mile marker 20 of Interstate 160.
The death of the minor mobilized multiple law enforcement agencies throughout the country, first to try to identify him and then to locate his mother, whom they identified as a suspect in the homicide.
“It has been 10 days of many feelings for me and all the investigators who have been working on the case. We are grateful to be able to have a closure for Liam and bring the person responsible for this crime to justice, ”Las Vegas Police Lt. Ray Spencer said Monday at a press conference.
The manner in which Liam died has not been released by authorities, but it is known that Moreno Rodríguez had been seen for the last time on May 31 checking into a hotel in the Denver area. The mother and the child had left San José on May 24 aboard a blue 2007 Dodge Caliber pickup, which was full of their belongings.
Lt. Spencer noted that Liam’s father did not contact authorities until June 1. “The father did not think his son was in danger,” he explained.
Collaboration between Police
According to the authorities’ count, Liam Husted and his mother Samantha Moreno Rodríguez visited the Laguna Beach area on May 26, before traveling through Victorville. Two days later, Liam’s body was found by hikers near Red Rock Canyon Park.
Las Vegas Police said a woman who had seen news of the minor’s discovery contacted authorities thinking it was her son. However, the boy was later found safe and sound camping with his father in an area without cell phone coverage.
With the help of the FBI, authorities released digitized images of Liam, initially under the name “John ‘Little Zion’ Doe,” which is often used to refer to people who have not been identified. In addition, they offered a reward of $ 10,000 for any information to clarify his death.
According to the investigation, a friend of Moreno Rodríguez contacted the San José Police to comment that the photo published by the Las Vegas Police resembled little Liam, adding that he had not seen them in more than two weeks.
A Las Vegas detective traveled to the Bay Area to collect items that belonged to Liam and collect samples of his DNA, which later yielded a match to the body found on the Nevada trail.
The motive for the crime is not yet clear, but it is known that Liam was a minor with special needs.
His grandfather, Chris Husted, told KTVU that the child “suffered from disadvantages and was dependent on the kindness of others,” but “his mother took that away from him.”
“We are devastated. Liam was a sweet and innocent boy who adored his father. It is a complete tragedy and we will miss him very much. My son is devastated by the news, ”the grandfather said in a statement.