A woman previously arrested under the suspicion of killing her 7-year-old son has been indicted on murder charges.
California native Samantha Moreno Rodriguez, the 35-year-old mother of Liam Husted, was indicted by a grand jury on murder charges on July 30, according to KSNV NBC. Previously, Rodriguez was the subject of a nationwide arrest warrant after Hustead’s body was found near the Mountain Spring Trailhead near Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 28. Rodriguez was later arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Denver Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force in Denver, Colorado, ABC 7 reported.
Initially, investigators struggled to identify Hustead’s body after it was first discovered by a hiker near the trailhead, but were eventually able to identify Hustead, and retrace his and his mother’s steps, ending in her arrest, KSVN reported. (RELATED: Police Arrest Mother Of 7-Year-Old Boy Found Dead, Dumped Behind A Bush)
On the morning of June 8, 2021, Samantha Moreno Rodriguez, 35, was arrested in Denver, Colorado by the Denver Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force led by the @FBIDenver. She will be booked into an area jail pending extradition to Las Vegas.#BREAKING @FBILasVegas #LasVegas pic.twitter.com/lC0SmGF68x
— LVMPD (@LVMPD) June 8, 2021
On May 24, the pair were last seen in the San Jose, California, area in a 2007 dark blue Dodge Caliber stuffed with their belongings, which Rodriguez was allegedly driving. Nick Hustead, Liam’s father, returned home later that day to find his son and partner had left, according to the Daily Beast. A note left by Rodriguez read, “I’m sorry I had to do it like this,” the Daily Beast reported.
Rodriguez and Hustead were reportedly seen in both Laguna Beach and Victorville, California on May 26, and the following day, Rodriguez was seen at a hotel in the Las Vegas area. Investigators believe Liam was alive at the time, only for his body to be discovered behind a bush by a hiker a day later, the Daily Beast reported.
The Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force was glad to be in a position to assist @FBILasVegas & @LVMPD with the location & apprehension of Ms. Moreno Rodriguez. The partnerships that comprise our task forces are critical to our work. #PartnersinJusticehttps://t.co/BH41GJPIoU
— FBI Denver (@FBIDenver) June 8, 2021
A family friend who saw the coverage of authorities finding the boy’s body then contacted investigators located in San Jose. The friend claimed that they believed Rodriguez and Liam’s sudden departure from the area may have been related.
Prior to Rodriguez’s arrest, the FBI offered a $10,000 reward for information on the suspected murder.