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Clark County coroner says 7-year-old California boy found near trail was strangled

LIAM_HUSTED.jpg
Samantha Moreno Rodriguez.jpg
Posted at 1:49 PM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 00:39:27-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Clark County coroner has finally released the cause of death for the 7-year-old California boy who was allegedly killed by his mother during a road trip.

The coroner has ruled that Liam Husted of San Jose, California, died from strangulation on May 28. The manner of death was a homicide.

The boy's body was found in the area of the Mountain Springs trail off State Route 160, which connects Las Vegas and Pahrump.

35-year-old Samantha Moreno Rodriguez was arrested in Colorado several days later. She is currently being held at the Clark County Detention Center.

RELATED: California mother wanted in murder of 7-year-old son arrested in Denver

Police believe Moreno Rodriguez and Husted left San Jose on May 24. Next, they were spotted in Laguna Beach on May 26. Three days later, Rodriguez's car was spotted in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Morenzo Rodriguez reportedly left a note for the boy's father that said "I'm sorry, I had to do this" when they left. She also wrote that she was going to try to get a house for her and Liam and that they could talk in the future.

The boy's father reported that she left with their son to the police but did not file a missing person's report because he did not want to get her in trouble.

Police were unable to identify the boy until a family friend saw a sketch of Husted and contacted police in California. The friend knew that Moreno Rodriguez had left with Husted.