Boy Found Dead on Hiking Trail Near Las Vegas Was Strangled, as Mom Faces Murder Charge 

Liam Husted, 7, was found on a hiking trail outside of Las Vegas

Liam Husted
Liam Husted. Photo: Facebook

A California boy whose body was found on a hiking trail outside of Las Vegas was strangled.

The Clark County coroner's ruling was announced Thursday, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The body of Liam Husted, 7, was found near Mountain Springs Trailhead on May 28, four days after he was last seen with his 35-year-old mother, Samantha Moreno Rodriguez.

The mom and son left their home in San Jose, Calif., on May 24 in a 2007 dark blue Dodge Caliber.

Rodriguez was charged in June with murder.

"This is an egregious case of filicide," Clark County Deputy District Attorney John Giordani said during a June 30 hearing, the Review-Journal reported. "She essentially said that she became frustrated with the child and strangled him."

Samantha Moreno Rodriguez

Prosecutors said Rodriguez allegedly confessed to killing the boy after she became upset with him and then dumped his body in Mountain Springs before she drove to Colorado, KSNV reported.

Rodriguez was arrested on June 8 in Denver by the Denver Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force, led by the FBI. She was extradited back to Las Vegas in late June, the Review-Journal reported.

Liam's father reported the boy's disappearance on June 1 after not hearing back from Rodriguez or the child.

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Police were first tipped off when a family friend noticed that reconstructed photo of John "Little Zion" Doe — the then-unidentified boy found deceased near Las Vegas — resembled Liam.

Investigators were able to positively identify Liam's remains after linking DNA from items in the missing child case in San Jose to the boy's body.

It was not immediately clear if Rodriguez has retained an attorney to comment on her behalf.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 3, the Las Vegas Sun reports.

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