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Extradition sought for mother charged in Las Vegas with son’s murder

Updated June 14, 2021 - 7:44 pm

Clark County prosecutors are seeking to extradite the California woman arrested in Denver last week, accused of killing her son in Southern Nevada and disposing of his body off state Route 160.

Samantha Moreno Rodriguez, 35, of San Jose, California, is scheduled for a court appearance Thursday in Colorado, according to online court records. She faces a murder charge in Las Vegas in the death of her 7-year-old son, Liam Husted.

“The short-term goal is to get her back to Nevada so she can face charges,” Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said Monday afternoon. “We believe there is sufficient evidence to bring charges against her for open murder, and we want to proceed against her on the charge.”

Liam’s body was discovered May 28 near the Mountain Springs Trailhead, off the state route between Las Vegas and Pahrump. It took authorities more than a week to confirm the child’s identity as investigators fielded hundreds of tips from across the United States. He was initially referred to as John “Little Zion” Doe.

The boy and his mother were staying at a Las Vegas hotel the day before hikers found his body, police said. Rodriguez was arrested last Tuesday in Denver on suspicion of murder — one day after police announced Liam’s identity and declared her a wanted suspect.

Police have not released a suspected motive or details on the circumstances of Liam’s slaying. Wolfson declined to answer questions about specifics.

Colorado Judicial Branch online records show that Rodriguez is scheduled to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in Denver District Court for what is described as an “advisement hearing.” The hearing will be virtual and is expected to last an hour.

Wolfson said Monday that his office had not yet been notified by Colorado authorities of the exact time and location of the hearing.

“A person has a right to a formal process of extradition where a person can demand that we prove that she is the one that is wanted and that there is probable cause to believe that she committed the crime,” Wolfson said. “Most people waive formal extradition.”

The office of the Colorado state public defender declined to say Monday whether the office is representing Rodriguez.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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