Samantha Moreno Rodriguez, 35, of San Jose, California, was arrested in Denver on Tuesday morning by the Denver Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force, led by Denver FBI. Her arrest stems from the discovery of her deceased 7-year-old child, found dead at a forested Las Vegas-area trailhead in late May.
On May 28, a hiker discovered the boy's body (then unidentified) unattended near the Mountain Springs trailhead, approximately 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas. This prompted an investigation into who the boy might be.
While the boy's father was the first to raise suspicion about the boy's disappearance, reporting on June 1 that he had not heard from his son who was with his mother at the time, a DNA test wasn't used to confirm the identity of the discovered body until after a family friend recognized the boy from a composite sketch on June 4th. At the time the father raised a flag, he did not suspect his son to be in danger, rather out of communication. The father is not suspected to be involved.
Once the boy was correctly identified, Rodriguez was sought after as a suspect in the boy's death.
An analysis into her whereabouts revealed that Rodriguez' vehicle was spotted on May 29 traveling on I-70 near Grand Junction and that she checked into a Denver-area hotel room on May 31. The mother and the child, Liam Husted, were seen together in California on May 26, when the child was still alive.
Reports show that Rodriguez and her son left San Jose on May 24 in a vehicle "packed full of belongings."
Details about the child's cause of death have not been released.
Rodriguez is currently being held in a local jail awaiting extradition to Las Vegas.