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Mom indicted on murder charge in 7-year-old son’s death

Updated July 30, 2021 - 7:08 pm

A woman accused of killing her 7-year-old son and dumping his body off state Route 160 between Las Vegas and Pahrump was indicted Friday.

Samantha Moreno Rodriguez, 35, faces a count of murder in the death Liam Husted, whose body was found May 28 near the Mountain Springs Trailhead. Initially referred to as John “Little Zion” Doe, Liam went unidentified for more than a week as investigators fielded hundreds of tips. Police said the child’s body had “multiple injuries.”

Authorities have said Rodriguez left her San Jose, California, home with Liam days earlier and checked into a Las Vegas hotel the day before the boy’s body was found.

Police accessed Rodriguez’s email account, which led detectives to a Days Inn just south of Denver that Rodriguez checked into on May 31, a police report said. She was arrested in Denver on June 8.

Chief Deputy District Attorney John Giordani, who is prosecuting the charges, has called the boy’s death an “egregious case of filicide,” saying Rodriguez killed the boy because she had become frustrated with him.

The prosecutor said the boy was choked for about 15 minutes.

Rodriguez is accused of taking Liam from the home they shared with his father, Nicholas Husted.

Giordani told a judge last month that Rodriguez confessed to killing Liam, who was described as having autism spectrum disorder. Afterward, she removed his clothes and left him naked in the desert, according to the prosecutor.

The boy’s father told police that he arrived home May 24 to find his son, Rodriguez and their belongings missing.

Rodriguez had left Husted a voicemail saying: “I’m sorry. I had to do this.”

“I’m going to try to get a house for Liam and I” and “we can talk about this in the future,” she told Husted in the message, according to Metropolitan Police Department homicide Lt. Ray Spencer.

Rodriguez is due in court next week.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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