What comes to mind when you think about a mom a loving, caring, and selfless person who had sacrificed everything for her young ones. Yes, that’s how a mom is supposed to be. But sadly, not all mothers are like that. Some mothers can be cruel and selfish like in this case, this woman was supposed to be looking after her son, but instead, she did something so terrible that no one saw it coming. Let’s dive in. Liam Houston lived in San Jose, California, with his mom, Samantha Moreno Rodriguez, and dad, Nicholas Houston. Despite being diagnosed with autism, Liam was a pretty normal boy who loved playing in the park and swimming.
He was also very energetic and would play and run around for hours without getting tired. His favorite food was spaghetti and pizza. Liam was also pretty tight with his dad, whom he loved above everyone else. Every week, they would go to the park and spend time together. Due to his condition, Liam had some behavioral issues that only got worse as he got older. This caused a lot of friction between his mom and dad, who would often disagree on how to handle him. They decided to get a therapist to help him.
After school, Liam attended a special school for autistic children where he proved to be a brilliant boy. On May 24, 2021, Liam’s dad, Nicholas, came home from work and found his family missing. All their belongings were gone, and there was a note left behind for him that read, I’m sorry I had to do it like this. I’m going to try and get a house for Liam and me, and we can talk about this in the future. Nicholas was heartbroken. Although he and Samantha had been having problems in their relationship, he had not expected that she would leave him and take his son away. He thought of calling the cops but did not want to get Samantha in trouble.
She was still Liam’s mom and loved him as much as he did. But as days went by without hearing from Samantha, Nicholas started to get a nagging feeling that something was wrong. He tried calling Samantha but could not reach her. While his mind told him that Samantha could never hurt Liam, his heart told him something else. Finally, Nicholas could not take it any longer, and on June 1, he went to San Jose Police Department and told them that he had not seen or heard from Samantha and his son for a week.
He did not want to get Samantha in trouble, and he chose not to file a report to document the parental abduction.
Meanwhile, the Las Vegas police were working on a very distressing case. A naked body of a boy was found by hikers on May 28 in a hiking trail at Mountain Springs, Nevada, near Las Vegas. The boy had several scrapes and bruises on his body, which indicated that he had been dragged up the mountain. Police believed that he had been dead for about 24 hours and that someone had dumped him thereafter taking his life. They couldn’t find his clothes or anything that could help identify him. They called him Little Zion and immediately released sketches in an attempt to find out who he was and where he had come from. The FBI even offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who could provide information that could help in identifying the boy.
For almost two weeks, images of the little chubby-cheeked boy were circulated in all local media stations in hopes that someone might recognize him. And finally, someone did. On June 4, a lady claiming to be Samantha’s friend called the San Jose police and told them that the boy in the sketch could be Liam Houston. She said that she had not seen or heard from Samantha for a while, and the last time they talk, Samantha had told her she was going to Las Vegas with Liam.
The police in San Jose reached out to their colleagues in Las Vegas and informed them of the new development. This was a major break in the case, and investigators went over to Liam’s house and took his pillow for DNA testing, and sadly, it turned out positive. Police later found out that after Liam and his mom left their home in San Jose, they went to Laguna Beach before eventually going to Las Vegas. The two spent the night at a local motel on May 27, and Liam’s body was found the next day. Police believe that his mother hurt him while they were in Clark County.
We can place her at a local hotel here in Las Vegas on the 27th when she was at that hotel. We believe in the information that we have right now that Liam was alive from there on the 28th is when we found Liam’s body.
Police immediately began a nationwide search for Samantha. They learned that her car was spotted on May 29 in Colorado and that she had used a Groupon to get a hotel room in Eaglewood. A surveillance camera captured her checking into the hotel alone on May 31. She then checked out on June 1, the day when Liam’s dad went to the police. When the police finally caught up with Samantha on June 8, she was in a hotel in Denver having breakfast with a guy she had just met.
What’s even more disturbing is that she didn’t seem concerned about the whereabouts of her son. Samantha was all dolled up and seemed to be moving on with her life, even though her son had just died. She would later confess to the police that she got frustrated and Liam. She was later extradited to Las Vegas, where she would be facing homicide charges. When she appeared before a judge on June 30, the prosecutor revealed her confession of the horrifying way in which she took her son’s life essentially saying that she became frustrated with her child.
What she believed were approximately 15 minutes.
That’s just sad. Can you imagine how terrified and confused Liam must have been when he realized that his mom was hurting him? No one should ever have to go through such a terrible ordeal. Needless to say, Liam’s dad was also horrified and distraught. Not only did he lose his son, but he then finds out that the person responsible was the one person who should have been protecting him. In a GoFundMe page that he started, he called the situation a nightmare, saying, Every morning I wake up and break down once I realize it’s not a bad nightmare we are in because he deserves so much more.
Most people don’t realize how brilliant children on the spectrum are, and he was no different. The hardest part of all of this is that he was taken away from me by the one person he should have been able to trust. So he must have been so scared and confused and I just wasn’t there to protect him. Nicholas goes on to describe his son as a stud who always had a smile on his face and was always ready for an adventure. He said that Liam was quick and witty and knew exactly how to get what he wanted.
He talks about how Liam could be a handful at times, but that he was worth every bit of it, and that he always knew that Liam was a star. The GoFundMe page has raised so far over $39,000 and contributors are still coming in. But the thing that was most shocking for Nicholas was that Samantha always seemed like a good mom to Liam. She was never mean or cruel towards him and had never hurt him in any way. So what happened? Nicholas didn’t want to believe that the woman he had lived with all those years could do something so horrible to her son. In one TV interview, he tried to defend Samantha, saying that she was not a bad mom, but had a moment of weakness. He remembered the last time he had seen Liam was the day before Samantha took him away.
Normally I would sleep with him, and Sunday I didn’t. Normally I’m in bed holding his hand and I did it. He did not deserve any of that. And that’s what I wanted him to know is that he was a good boy.
A vigil for Liam was held in La Choline Park, which was Liam’s favorite place. Family, friends, and even strangers brought in balloons, flowers, and pictures to remember. Liam’s family members wore black T-shirts with Liam’s face plastered at the front. Nicholas talked about his son remembering all the fun moments they shared at the park, which he said was like Liam’s second home. I just look in every direction and I see him.
It’s nice to be here with him. This case is pretty heartbreaking. A mom is supposed to be someone who protects and cares for you. No matter what to find out that your mom wants to harm you must be the most devastating thing in the world. Being frustrated is not a reason to harm an innocent boy. If she didn’t want him, why did she take him in the first place? She should have just left him with his dad and gone to live her life the way she wanted. It’s crazy how she dumped Liam’s body and then went about her life as if nothing happened. It just shows how selfish, cruel and cold she is and I hope that she gets what’s coming to her.
As for Liam’s dad, I feel sorry for him. He seems like a nice guy who loved his son. It’s just sad that he had to lose him in such a horrible way. I pray that his heart finally finds peace and that all the great memories that he had with his son will soon comfort him during this difficult time. Liam was a sweet and innocent boy and did not deserve such a mother. May he rest in peace.