Crime

Son is going on trial in December for his Tri-Cities mother’s mysterious death

A 33-year-old man will go on trial Dec. 2 for allegedly killing his mother and hiding her body.

Clemente Rodriguez Torres pleaded innocent Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court to first-degree murder.

Prosecutors allege the Prosser man and his father, Tiburcio Larios Rodriguez, killed the 54-year-old grandmother inside a Franklin County home.

Estela Torres Rodriguez has not been seen since the morning of March 28.

What started out as a missing person investigation led to premeditated murder charges after detectives found evidence of what they say must have been a violent attack inside the Orchard Road home.

Estela’s SUV was found a week later at a rest area along Highway 395 in north Franklin County.

The two suspects were believed to have fled to Mexico shortly after the killing.

Rodriguez Torres returned from Mexico and surrendered at the United States-Mexico border in California on Sept. 19, and waived his extradition to the Tri-Cities.

He now is locked up on $1 million bail in the Franklin County jail.

His father’s whereabouts are still unknown.

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Kristin M. Kraemer covers the judicial system and crime issues for the Tri-City Herald. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years in Washington and California.
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