The 35-year-old San Jose woman arrested in Denver on June 8 following the discovery a week earlier of her 7-year-old son's body near a hiking trail in Las Vegas has reportedly confessed to killing the boy in frustration.
Samantha Moreno Rodriguez made her first court appearance Wednesday morning in Las Vegas, via video conferencing, and a judge denied a motion for bail. Moreno Rodriguez said she could not afford her own attorney, and prosecutors revealed the first of what they've learned in the case, as local affiliate Fox 5 reports.
Samantha Moreno-Rodriguez is making her first court appearance in Las Vegas courtroom.— Feven Kay (@Feven_Kay) June 30, 2021
She’s been booked on one count of murder in the death of her 7-year-old son, Liam Husted.
She’s appearing via video conferencing. @f pic.twitter.com/ZWqgCbkMhQ
Prosecutors say that Moreno Rodriguez had confessed to police that she strangled her 7-year-old son, Liam Husted, before disrobing and dumping his body near the trailhead where he was found on May 28.
"This is a pretty egregious case,” said Deputy District Attorney John Giordani during the hearing, per NBC Bay Area. "She essentially said that she became frustrated with the child and strangled him."
Moreno Rodriguez had last been seen in San Jose with her son and a car packed full of belongings on May 24. Investigators say she left behind a note for Liam's father saying, "I’m sorry I had to do it like this... I’m going to try and get a house for Liam and I, and we can talk about this in the future."
After a hiker discovered Liam's remains, it would be a week before he would be identified and manhunt for Moreno Rodriguez would begin.
Las Vegas Metro Homicide Lt. Ray Spencer told 8 News Now that when Moreno Rodriguez was picked by Denver police, she was on a "breakfast date" with a man she had just met.
"There’s every indication that when she left San Jose that she was intending on starting a new life," Lt. Spencer said. "She was dressed up and had makeup," he added, and that makeup was visible in her booking photo.
Moreno Rodriguez's next court date is set for August 3.