A Mother’s Fear for Her Children’s Safety Turns Fatal: The Amber Rodriguez Murder Case

The former Washington school police officer accused of killing his ex-wife and underage girlfriend before fleeing with the teenager’s baby has been found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

Oregon state troopers discovered Elias Huizar’s injured body following a police chase near Eugene around 3 p.m. Tuesday, according to the West Richland Police Department. He was taken to the hospital in an unknown condition. The 1-year-old child he had taken was safely taken into custody by the troopers.

Huizar, 39, had fled just 24 hours earlier after allegedly shooting his ex-wife, Amber Rodriguez, eight times outside the elementary school where she worked.

The couple’s 9-year-old son told officers that he witnessed his father, Elias Huizar, shoot his mother, according to a probable cause statement. During the search for Huizar, authorities found the body of his underage girlfriend, identified as Angelica Santos, in his home located just minutes from the school.

Her family realized that Angelica, 17, and Huizar’s 1-year-old child, Roman Santos, were missing and assumed that Huizar had taken the infant.

According to court documents, Huizar met Angelica when he was working as a school resource officer at Washington Middle School in Yakima. She was 11 when they met and 15 when she became pregnant.

Huizar had left the Yakima Police Department in 2021 “after receiving discipline,” the department said Tuesday without providing further details.

He then worked as a substitute teacher in the Richland School District until February of this year when he was arrested for allegedly raping his underage girlfriend’s unconscious 16-year-old friend after a night of drinking at his home, according to the district.

Huizar was due in court to face those child rape charges and for his relationship with Angelica on the day of the killings. The murders occurred just days after Rodriguez filed to change the custody arrangements for their two children, ages 5 and 9, citing concerns for their safety.

She had previously raised concerns about her ex-husband, stating that he was armed and had been harassing her since their 2020 divorce. Investigators initially believed that Huizar was attempting to escape to Mexico with the baby. Under a protection order issued in February, Huizar was prohibited from possessing firearms.

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