Woman confessed to strangling 7-year-old son, prosecutor says


LAS VEGAS — Prosecutors said a woman accused of killing her son confessed to strangling the 7-year-old boy.

Samantha Moreno-Rodriguez, 35, made her first appearance in a Las Vegas courtroom Wednesday morning after being extradited from Colorado and was denied bail.

Moreno-Rodriguez, who appeared via video conference in Las Vegas Justice Court, is accused of killing and dumping the body of her 7-year-old son Liam Husted. She only spoke in court to confirm her identity.

Liam Husted’s body was discovered by a hiker off State Route 160 near Mountain Springs on May 28, 2021.

A state prosecutor told the court that Moreno-Rodriguez confessed to the killing and said she strangled the boy, who had autism, and left him naked.

Police say Rodriguez disappeared from her home in San Jose in May, leaving a message for her husband that said, “I’m sorry I had to do it like this” and “I’m going to try to get a house for Liam and I.”

FBI, Vegas police offer $10K for information about slain boy found by hikers 

On June 1, her husband called police to document what had happened, but stopped short of filing an abduction report because he didn’t think Liam was in danger, according to KDVR.

Meanwhile, investigators in Nevada were already trying to identify the child’s remains, which were found May 28 by hikers. Liam was identified more than a week later when one of Rodriguez’s friends recognized a sketch of the boy.

Samantha Moreno-Rodriguez (Photo credit: LVMPD)

Moreno-Rodriguez arrived in Las Vegas early Monday morning and was being held at the Clark County Detention Center. She was arrested at a hotel in Denver on June 8 and waived extradition.

Her next court date is set for Aug. 3.

Samantha Moreno-Rodriguez appears via video conference in Las Vegas Justice Court.

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