A shocking update in the case of 7-year-old Liam Husted‘s murder…
In case you aren’t aware, Liam’s father Nicholas Husted last saw his son on May 23, 2021. He found a note from Samantha Moreno-Rodriguez, the boy’s mother and his own longtime partner, stating she was leaving him and taking their son with her to “get a house”:
“I’m sorry I had to do it like this. I’m trying to get a house for Liam and I.”
Nicholas originally tried to file a missing persons report with San Jose Police Department on June 1, but law enforcement didn’t find the note suspicious so they didn’t file. This would come to be a tragic mistake…
For a few days after leaving their home, Liam and his mother were spotted in various locations across California before they checked into a Las Vegas hotel on May 27. Sadly, this would be the last time the 7-year-old was seen alive. His remains were found later along a Mountain Springs trail by hikers. He was naked and had several bruises and lacerations on his body.
Samantha had gone missing, as well…
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department wasn’t able to identify Husted’s body right away, so he was given the name “Little Zion” until he was positively identified in June. Police sketches were made public and a relative of Liam’s thought the photo looked like the missing boy. The father did DNA testing which confirmed the unthinkable — it was his son — and his girlfriend was the main suspect of the crime. So, so sad.
Moreno-Rodriguez was on the run for a few weeks until she was finally arrested in late June relating to her son’s death after police received an anonymous tip. On August 3 she was officially indicted and court documents from her September 1, 2022 hearing revealed details to the harrowing crime.
She claimed the 7-year-old was autistic and “wasn’t listening” to her. She reportedly had taken him for a drive along the Vegas strip to try and tire him out so he would go to sleep, and eventually took him for a walk along the hiking trail when the drive didn’t work. Samantha says she was exhausted and pushed the boy, when he fell and hit his head. Detective Robert Ochsenhirt told grand jurors the mother was unable to calm her child, to which she alluded to strangling him to death:
“ louder than she had ever heard him scream before. And she wasn’t so sure how to stop him from crying. The things she had tried in the past to calm him down weren’t working. She indicated kind of physically with her hands going towards her neck. And then we asked her if she had put her hands on Liam, and then we asked her again if she had put her hands around his neck, and she answered yes to both questions.”
Detectives allege Moreno-Rodriguez strangled Liam for “10 to 15 minutes” before he “stopped crying and stopped breathing”. Ochsenhirt also said she reportedly removed his clothes before dumping his body as she thought it would make it harder for police to “associate” her with the crime:
“Samantha indicated that she had watched television crime shows and thought that by removing his clothing it would make it more difficult to associate him with her after she left the scene.”
Ten to fifteen minutes?! And using television show tactics to try and get away with the crime too? Sickening…
At a hearing held last month, the mother pled not guilty to her alleged crimes. But in a new update from September 1, she’s apparently changed her mind. According to Fox5, she entered a guilty plea ahead of her scheduled court appearance on September 8.
While speaking with KTVU Fox 2 San Fransisco during a vigil last year, a heartbroken Nicholas expressed he was “living in a nightmare” following his son’s tragic death:
“The first thing I told him this morning when I saw all this stuff — I said ‘look how many people love you’ … I’m living in a nightmare. He did not deserve any of that. That’s what I wanted him to know — he was a good boy. He didn’t do anything wrong.”
Our hearts go out to Liam’s family and loved ones, hopefully they get the justice they deserve surrounding this tragedy.
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