Rodolfo “Rudy” Arellano, 36, pleaded guilty of kidnapping and murdering his wife, Elizabeth Pule Arellano

By Steve Helling
February 01, 2019 06:15 PM
Advertisement
GoFundMe

A Texas man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to murder charges after authorities said he tied his wife to a 119-pound block of concrete before throwing her into a lake to drown.

Rodolfo “Rudy” Arellano, 36, pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murdering Elizabeth Pule Arellano, according to the Associated Press, the Star-Telegram and NBCDFW. The Fort Worth couple had been high school sweethearts and had four children together.

Elizabeth had gone out with colleagues on the evening of April 15, 2016. After leaving her friends, she went to her parents’ house for the night, calling a co-worker to say that she had made it home safely. But early the next morning, Elizabeth’s mother found her daughter missing. Her car, in which her cellphone and purse were on the passenger seat, had been abandoned.

By the time Elizabeth’s mother reported her missing to Fort Worth police, the woman had already been found. Her body had been pulled from Lake Worth earlier that day after fishermen reported seeing something falling from the bridge.

In an arrest warrant affidavit first obtained by the Star-Telegram, a detective wrote, “One witness described hearing what sounded like screams on the way down.”

Authorities sent divers into the lake and found Elizabeth’s body. A rope had been tied around her neck. The other end of the rope was attached to a large piece of concrete.

Elizabeth, a 28-year-old medical assistant, was still wearing her maroon medical scrubs.

AP/REX/Shutterstock

Husband Rudy told police that he had been home on the night of the murder. An investigation showed that cell phone pings and surveillance video placed him near Elizabeth’s parents’ home when she disappeared.

Detectives executed a search warrant for Arellano’s home and found that he had recently torn down a wooden fence for a friend. The fence had posts encased in chunks of concrete that were similar to the one used to weigh down Elizabeth’s body.

More concrete was found in his backyard and his pickup truck.While Rudy initially pleaded not guilty, he changed his plea on Wednesday. Next week, he will face Elizabeth’s family and friends, who will address the court with victim impact statements. The judge is expected to formally sentence him to life in prison.Rudy’s defense attorney did not immediately return PEOPLE’s call for comment, but told the Star-Telegram that the plea agreement was the “correct resolution” to the case.