Jose Anthony Rodriguez, 37, allegedly drove his children in a Lincoln Navigator for six hours while his girlfriend’s dead, beaten, decomposing body was in the back of the vehicle. The Nevada resident was arrested in Dinuba, Calif. for reportedly stabbing his brother at their mother’s home. Days later, the woman’s body was discovered.
On July 9, Dinuba police arrested Rodriguez, from Reno, after he allegedly stabbed his brother in the arm according to People. Four days later, authorities received calls from citizens claiming there was a dead body in the vehicle. Police obtained a search warrant and looked in the back of the Lincoln Navigator.
Inside of a cardboard box was Jose’s 29-year-old girlfriend, who was the mother of two of his four children. The box was taped and when police looked at the dead woman’s body, it appeared her kneecaps had been broken. She was also badly beaten and sustained head injuries.
“She had visible head trauma and her body was decomposing inside a cardboard box. The box was taped. We found the body four days later. It was 105 degrees in this area.”
Police allege that Rodriguez drove his children for six hours while the woman’s body decomposed in the cardboard box. Lt. Abel Iriarte told the publication that the case has a lot of sadness to it because there are children involved. Authorities determine that Jose murdered his girlfriend before driving from Reno to Dinuba, which is approximately six hours away.
“We located a hole he had dug at one of his relative’s houses [in Dinuba]. You can only speculate that he was planning to put her in there. It was good enough for a shallow grave.”
Dinuba police believe the suspect went on a violent rampage in the California community before he was arrested. One day before he was caught, Jose Anthony Rodriguez reportedly shot a gun from his black Lincoln Navigator, a witness told authorities. That same day, he allegedly punched his mother in the face. The next day, when Jose’s brother was stabbed in the arm, police were called out to the residence. Rodriguez tried to escape out a back door, but was apprehended.
On July 11, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office charged Rodriguez with assault with a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm with gross negligence, and eight felony counts of elder abuse. The defendant has entered a not guilty plea and his bail has been set at $1 million. His next court appearance is scheduled for July 21.
Jose Anthony Rodriguez has yet been charged by Nevada authorities in the murder of his girlfriend, whose name was not released.
[Featured Image by Richard Drew/AP Images]