Suspect charged in 11 year old homicide investigation
Tue, 12 Apr 2011 19:46:13 GMT —
Open murder, that's the single charge from an unsolved case left open for nearly 11 years.
"We can't bring Rachel back, but we can offer them closure today," says Shiawassee County Sheriff George Braidwood.
On July 6th, 2000, police say 20-year-old Rachel Mary Scott of Lennon was murdered.
They now say the murderer was 33-year-old Laurencio Leopauldo Rodriguez who's already serving a prison sentence in Carson City for delivering a controlled substance.
Investigators say a nearly 3,000 page report now proves Rodriguez, who also goes by the name "Larry," killed Rachel Scott.
"We were never able to clear Mr. Rodriguez as a person of interest from the onset," says Lt. David Kirk, a Shiawassee County detective.
Shiawassee County Prosecutor Randy Colbry says, "We have an individual who gave an account of some of the surrounding information of that day."
Relatives of the suspect say they've talked to him and that he has told them he's innocent. However, they don't believe him. They also say he didn't act alone.
"I just wanted to know why they didn't go after the other person. Why are they focusing on Larry and Larry only?" asks Jody Holtz-Rodriguez, mother of the suspect.
"We don't dispute Larry's involvement by any means, but we feel that all parties need to be brought to justice on this," says the suspect's aunt Elizabeth Thayer.
The victim's relatives say over the past 11 years they've felt like they've been locked in a mental and emotional prison, but now they've been let out while the suspect goes back.
"Most of all, we'd like to thank God for answering our prayers. Through faith in him, we never once doubted He would see us through to this point," says Rachel Scott's father Ken Scott. "Our Rachel was a kind young woman. We found it difficult to believe anyone could hurt such a gentle soul."
Police say Rachel Scott was strangled.
They found her body more than two weeks later in a Vernon Township field.
No bond was offered to Rodriguez. He's due back in court April 25th.