THE seven-year-old boy found dead on a hiking trail was discovered naked and with multiple injuries court documents reveal – after police arrested his mom over his death.
Liam Husted was found dead shortly before 8am on May 28 several feet from a dirt road by walkers near Las Vegas, according to the official report.
His mother Samantha Moreno Rodriguez, 35, was arrested on June 8 in Denver, Colorado, after claiming she had been taking her son to "find a new home."
Cops and FBI have not commented on the cause of death or whether a weapon was used. They said further details will be released once the coroner completes a toxicology report.
An autopsy found the manner of death was homicide.
Rodriguez had left a note for the boy's dad, Nicholas Husted, that also said: "I'm sorry I had to do it like this." The couple were having relationship troubles for two years prior, the report notes.
Husted said on Sunday said Samantha was "not a bad mom", 8newsnow reports.
He added: "I don’t think she was a bad mom. She had a time of weakness, and she is going to pay for it."
Rodriguez was found by cops in a hotel in Denver, Colorado, with another man after allegedly killing Liam in Mountain Springs, Nevada, last month and fleeing.
A police report said she used a Groupon voucher to book her room.
The man she was found with is not believed to be involved in the case, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Homicide Lt. Ray Spencer said.
Rodriguez left her home in San Jose, California, with her autistic son on May 24. She will appear in court in Denver on Wednesday.
Rodriguez had reportedly been in a relationship with Liam's father for several years and there was no evidence that there was any involvement from social services.
Husted said in a GoFundMe post: "The hardest part of all 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 scared and confused and I just wasn’t there to protect him."
Liam's father reported to the cops that they were missing a week after he found the note, on June 1, when his son's unidentified body had already been found in another state.
At the time, he did not file a report of parental abduction as he did not wish for Rodriguez to get in trouble.
Lt. Spencer said that Liam was believed to be still alive on May 27 when he and his mother checked into a hotel in Las Vegas.
However, the body of the boy was discovered on May 28 by a person hiking in the Mountain Springs area – around 30 miles southwest of Las Vegas.
The identity of the boy was not known at first and a sketch was sent to local agencies.
A friend of Rodriguez recognized Liam from the sketch and knowing that he was missing, contacted Las Vegas police.
They retrieved a pillow from Liam's room in San Jose to confirm the boy's DNA.
Rodriguez was taken into custody by Denver Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force after a tip off.
Cops said Liam and his mom left San Jose on May 24 in a dark blue Dodge Caliber sedan and were later seen in southern California, NBC News reports.
Spencer said the back seat of the vehicle was "packed full of belongings."
Police believe the mom and her son traveled to the cities of Laguna Beach and Victorville on May 26 but cops are trying to determine where they stayed.
The car was then seen near Grand Junction, Colorado on May 29, according to reports.
Cops confirmed Liam's father is not a suspect in the case.
Anyone with information can contact the Las Vegas Police Department's homicide tip number on 702-828-3521. The investigation remains ongoing.
A GoFundMe for Liam's family had raised more than $37,000 as of Wednesday morning.
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