When a woman unexpectedly disappeared, her boyfriend denied the police allegation. He then pleads guilty later and leads them to where he supposedly disposed of her body, but it turns out it was his missing wife of two decades. The unexpected turn of events leading to a different case seemed unlikely.
The police identified the victim as Pamela Butler, 47, who went missing under unexplained conditions, which deepened the mysterious crime.
Accused killer Jose Angel Rodriguez-Cruz, now 54, was convicted in November 2020 and pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree murder.
Home surveillance system might reveal mysterious disappearance
CCTV footage shows the last time that Butler was seen entering her house and never leaving again. No trace was ever found, reported the Mirror UK.
Butler worked as a computer technichian at the US Environmental Protection Agency She was living in Washington D.C. with a good salary, even making some property investments on the side.
She maintained an orderly regimen and strictly followed her daily schedule, according to the Daily Star. So when she missed out on a planned family meal, her family found it odd, and they were alarmed.
Her brother visited her and found disturbing signs inside her home that worried him a lot. Her two cars were still there, but her keys and some of her belongings were missing.
Her home surveillance camera showed footage from February 12, 2009, which was the last record of Butler going inside the house. Another shows her boyfriend, Rodriguez-Cruz, visiting on February 13, a day after her disappearance. The man was seen on three occasions visiting the house days after.
The couple had met online and had been dating recently. Rodriguez-Cruz recalls that Butler ended their relationship that night, but they decided to remain as friends. However, she was never seen going out of the house again after that.
When asked by the police why he came back there on three occasions, he mentioned he got his belongings and was seen carrying large bags. But the detectives noticed an open window with its blind pulled up, which Angela would not do unlikely. The window was out of the coverage of her home surveillance system.
Rodriguez-Cruz became the primary person of interest for the police. He even agreed to take a lie detector test which, he did not continue, later on, saying he felt the police were setting him up.
Detectives were not convinced, so they dug up his past and found something disturbing. He was found to be married to a woman who had been reported missing 20 years earlier.
Case leads to a killing of two decades earlier
He used to be married to Marta "Haydee" Rodriguez, 26, in Arlington, Virginia. And he had a son with Rodriguez, Hanzel, four at that time, cited WTOP News. Jose was just 23 then when she was reported to be missing.
The woman earlier reported complaints of domestic violence. He was arrested for battering his wife months before her disappearance.
In March 1989, he was seen dragging the woman on the street. When the police apprehended him and searched his car, they found a tape and a rope. He told the police that if he can't have his wife, then no one else will.
Marta was fretting for her life after he was arrested. Later, the police released him because she never made it to court to testify. She was reported missing after a week. He made it appear that she had gone abroad.
In 2000, someone used Marta's name to apply for a Florida driver's license. Authorities failed to confirm photos of Martha with the person, and they just ended the search for the missing woman, thinking she was okay. Investigations later confirmed that the woman was a relative of Rodriguez-Cruz.
In April 2017, Rodriguez-Cruz made a plea over the death of Pamela. He leads the authorities to where he said he buried Pamela, a median area in Stafford County, Virginia.
The state police found the remains of an unidentified human near the said spot. It was impossible to be of Butler because they were uncovered before her disappearance.
Later investigations show that the remains belonged to Martha. A charge of murder was filed in 2019 against Rodriguez-Cruz, but no cause of death was declared.
Although Rodriguez-Cruz confessed to the death of Butler, her body was never found; instead, it reveals the killing of his wife. He was convicted in November 2020 and is now serving a 12-year sentence for Butler 's death. After which, he will continue with 40 years in prison for Martha's killing.