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Booking photo released of mother accused in son’s death in Las Vegas

Police arrested 35-year-old Samantha Moreno Rodriguez in connection with the death of her...
Police arrested 35-year-old Samantha Moreno Rodriguez in connection with the death of her 7-year-old son, Liam Husted.(LVMPD)
Published: May. 29, 2021 at 12:20 PM MDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 3:07 PM MDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (KOLO) - JUNE 8 UPDATE The San Jose, CA woman accused of killing her 7-year-old son and leaving his body near las Vegas is in custody in Colorado.

Las Vegas Metro Police say Samantha Moreno Rodriguez was taken into custody in Denver by the Denver Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force led by the FBI.

Moreno is being held on one count of Open Murder, pending extradition to Nevada.

Liam Husted
Liam Husted(Las Vegas Metropolitan Police)

JUNE 7 UPDATE Las Vegas Metro Police Detectives have identified the young boy whose body was found on a trailhead between Las Vegas and Pahrump.

The child is 7-year-old Liam Husted of San Jose. Liam and his mother, Samantha Moreno Rodriguez, were last seen May 24th in San Jose. A family friend provided the tip that led to Liam’s identification.

Police tracked Rodriguez’s travel, placing her in Laguna Beach, Calif. on May 26th and Victorville, Calif. later that day.

Liam’s body was found on May 28th.

On May 29th, Rodriguez was believed to have stayed in Grand Junction, Colo., and she was last reported in Denver on May 31st. Rodriguez’s vehicle is a dark blue Dodge Caliber, California license plate 6WLH211.

Las Vegas Metro Police have issued an Open Murder Warrant for Rodriguez. Investigators say Liam’s father was not involved in the child’s death.

Samantha Rodriguez
Samantha Rodriguez(LVMPD)
Samantha Moreno Rodriguez is believed to be driving a dark blue Dodge Caliber.
Samantha Moreno Rodriguez is believed to be driving a dark blue Dodge Caliber.(Las Vegas Metro PD)

JUNE 3 UPDATE: The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has released new digitally enhanced portraits of the child found dead at a trailhead between Las Vegas and Pahrump.

The new images were created by a forensic artist and depict what the child may have looked like in life.

The image shows both a front a side view of the victim who is believed to be between 8 and 10 years old, 4′11″ and 123 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

Police believe he had been deceased less than a day when he was found.

The FBI is offering up to a 10-thousand-dollar reward for information leading to the identification of the victim or the identification of the suspect(s) involved in this murder.

Anyone with any information about this incident is urged to contact the LVMPD Homicide Section by phone at 702-828-3521, or by email at homicide@lvmpd.com. Or you can call the 24-hour tip line by calling 702-828-3521 or 702-828-2907. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 702-385-5555, or at www.crimestoppersofnv.com.

MAY 30 UPDATE: The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on Sunday released a digitally enhanced image of a child found dead at a trailhead Friday between Las Vegas and Pahrump.

A woman initially identified the deceased child as her own 8-year-old son. Police put out an Amber Alert for that child’s half-brother and their father. It turns out all three were safe in central Utah out of cell phone range.

Las Vegas Metro is now back at step one trying to identify the child found Friday near the Mountain Springs Trailhead off Nevada 160.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited children gave police a digitally enhanced picture of the victim. Police want teachers, in particular, to look at the photo. Police believe the child was between the ages of 8 and 12. He was 4 feet, 11 inches tall and weighed about 123 pounds.

Because of the body’s location, police think he may have lived in Las Vegas, Pahrump, Baker or other nearby cities.

4:45 P.M. UPDATE: The 8-year-old boy the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department thought was dead is alive, police said Saturday during an afternoon press conference.

Early Saturday, police asked for help finding that boy’s 11-year-old half-brother, Eden Montes and Jose Montes-Herrera, 37, the father of both boys.

Police found them and confirmed the 8-year-old was still alive.

Police are now back to square one identifying the body found Friday near the Mountain Springs Trailhead on Nevada 160, the highway between Las Vegas and Pahrump.

Police said the mother of the 8-year-old, another relative and the mother of the 11-year-old boy all thought the sketch was of the 8-year-old boy.

The mother of the 8-year-old “positively identified that child as being her son …” Lt. Ray Spencer said, according to The Associated Press. She signed an identification affidavit. “There is a very, very close resemblance when you look at those photos, the autopsy photos, and the 8-year-old child.”

The father and his two sons were in central Utah and out of cell phone range. Utah authorities helped find them.

The investigation continues in identifying the dead child.

Anyone with any information about this incident is urged to contact the LVMPD Homicide Section at 702-828-3521 or at homicide@lvmpd.com. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555, or at www.crimestoppersofnv.com.

3:25 P.M. UPDATE: The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has canceled the alert for Eden Montes, 11, saying the boy has been found.

Police also found Jose Montes-Herrera, 37, the father of Eden Montes and of an 8-year-old boy found dead on Friday. Eden Montes and the dead boy, who hasn’t been identified, are half-brothers.

Police did not immediately give the status of the two.

ORIGINAL STORY: Authorities have issued an Amber Alert for an 11-year-old Las Vegas boy after authorities identified his half-brother as the deceased person found Friday morning at a Clark County trailhead.

The Amber Alert is for Eden Montes He is believed to be with his biological father, Jose Montes-Herrera, 37, described as 5 feet, 9 inches tall, 225 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

They were last seen in a white 2015 GMC pickup truck with license plate LV U00X and were towing a recreation vehicle with a checkerboard pattern on the sides and the rear, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said. The truck had a sticker with “Mr. Express” in the lower right corner of the rear window.

An 8-year-old boy who is the half-brother to Eden Montes was found dead near the Mountain Springs Trailhead on Nevada 160, the highway between Las Vegas and Pahrump. The boy’s name has not been released.

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The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released this photograph of the trailer used by...
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released this photograph of the trailer used by Jose Montes-Herrera.(Las Vegas Metro)