Denver Police Arrest San Jose Woman as Suspect in Death of 7-year-old Son

This story has been updated from an earlier report.

The mother of a 7-year-old San Jose boy whose body outside Las Vegas 10 days ago was arrested today in Denver, Colo.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on Monday announced that Samantha Moreno Rodriguez. 35. was the suspect in the death of her son Liam Husted, whose body was found May 28 along a highway near Las Vegas.

The child was Liam Husted, and his mother were last seen May 31 alone at a Denver-area hotel, Las Vegas police said in a statement.

The arrest followed a nationwide search for Moreno Rodriguez, who was found Tuesday in Denver by the Denver Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force, a team led by the FBI.

She was booked in a Denver-area jail on suspicion of murder, and police say she will later be extradited to Las Vegas.

Police had said it was clear the boy was killed, but did not say how Liam died. Police said the boy’s father is not a suspect in his killing.

The mother and boy left San Jose on May 24 driving a dark blue 2007 Dodge Caliber sedan with the back seat packed full of belongings, police said.

The Associated Press reported that a family friend told San Jose police on June 4 that she had not seen Rodriguez or Liam in more than a week, and she recognized the boy from a rendering that was prepared by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and distributed by the media.

Liam and Rodriguez were seen May 26 in Laguna Beach, California, and Victorville, California, an Interstate 15 city about 190 miles (306 kilometers) southwest of Las Vegas, police said.

Liam’s body was found shortly after dawn May 28 behind a bush at a trailhead off the main highway between Las Vegas and rural Pahrump, Nev. The boy had become the focus of an intense public campaign that included an offer from the FBI of up to $10,000 for information to identify him and his assailant.

Las Vegas police urge anyone with information about the case to contact their homicide division by phone at (702) 828-3521 or via email at [email protected]

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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