Samantha Moreno Rodriguez

Samantha Moreno Rodriguez. (FOX5)

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- In a joint press conference with the FBI, Las Vegas police on Tuesday released an updated timeline of events leading up to the arrest of a mother whose son was found dead at Mountain Springs in late May.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Homicide Lt. Ray Spencer detailed the following events about 35-year-old Samantha Moreno Rodriguez and 7-year-old Liam Husted.

Liam Husted and Samantha Moreno Rodriguez.

Liam Husted and Samantha Moreno Rodriguez.

MAY 24: The boy's father returned home to San Jose, Calif. to find Moreno Rodriguez' belongings missing. She left a note for him, stating: "I'm sorry I had to do it like this. "I'm trying to get a house for Liam and I."

According to an investigation, nothing about this note appeared suspicious or would allude to her harming her son, Spencer said.

MAY 27: Liam was believed to be alive at a hotel in Las Vegas.

MAY 28: The boy's body was found at Mountain Springs.

MAY 29: The boy's body was misidentified in Las Vegas. Investigation continues.

JUNE 1: The father filed a police report with the San Jose Police Department four days after the boy's body was found. He said the boy left with Samantha, but he failed to report the parental kidnapping because he didn't want to get the mother in trouble, Spencer said. He told police he had not spoken with them for several days and was concerned for their safety. 

"When dad called us on June 1, Liam's body had already been discovered on May 28," San Jose police in a press conference. "We had no knowledge on June 1 about this body and Liam being found in Vegas."

JUNE 4: A family friend saw news coverage of the boy and knew Samantha was missing. She then contacted San Jose police. They then launched an investigation and got in contact with LVMPD police.

JUNE 7: The boy is identified as 7-year-old Liam Husted.

JUNE 8: The FBI Apprehension team took Moreno Rodriguez into custody after finding her at a Denver-area hotel. She was booked into an area jail pending extradition to Las Vegas.

According to Spencer, there was no record of abuse in the family or anything that would indicate paternal neglect.

Spencer confirmed Liam was killed in Mountain Springs. A coroner's investigation is pending a toxicology report. The cause of the boy's death is pending.

A GoFundMe has been created for Liam Husted's family.

Samantha Moreno-Rodriguez was arrested Tuesday morning in connection with her son's death.


LAS VEGAS (FOX5) --  Las Vegas Metropolitan Police on Monday said the little boy found dead near Mountain Springs was identified as 7-year-old Liam Husted from San Jose, California. Now, his mother is wanted on charges of open murder.

In partnership with the San Jose Police Department, local authorities were able to connect the homicide case to a missing boy out of California.

The mother of a boy found dead in Mountain Springs is wanted for open murder by Las Vegas Metropolitan police.

A family friend told police the boy resembled the composite sketch seen in news media coverage. The mother, identified as 35-year-old Samantha Moreno Rodriguez, was last seen with Liam about two weeks ago.

Based on an investigation, police can place Rodriguez' 2007 dark blue Dodge Caliber in Laguna Beach, Calif. on May 26 and then Victorville, Calif.

"Liam was discovered early in the morning on the 28th of May," Spencer said. "Shortly thereafter on the 29th of May, we know that the vehicle was traveling on I-70 near Grand Junction, Colorado."

Rodriguez was last seen on May 31 in a Denver-area hotel room. She checked in to the establishment with the same vehicle.


The vehicle driven by Samantha Moreno Rodriguez.

There is an arrest warrant out for Rodriguez in the open murder case.

The child's grandfather, Chris Husted, described the seven-year-old as a sweet, innocent boy. 

"It is a complete tragedy and Liam will be very missed. My son is very distraught by the news. Liam was a special needs child, at a disadvantage and dependent on others kindness. Unfortunately his mother took that away,” Husted said.

Police ask anyone who works at a hotel or motel to check their registries to see if Rodriguez checked into their businesses between May 27-28.

Have info? Call LVMPD Homicide Section by phone at 702-828-3521, or by email at To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 702-385-5555, or on the internet at

Copyright 2021 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Recommended for you

(2) comments


Sad, indeed. People are murdering their unwanted, 'burdensome' children because of poor choices rooted in selfishness and lack of regard for human life.


So incredibly sad.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.