Fatal Vows Premiered ‘Death Outranks Love’ on Investigation Discovery: Roger Holland Murdered Wife Margorie After She Learned He Lied About Everything (October 6, 2018)

ID Go: It’s a military match made in heaven for Roger and Margorie. But a tangled nest of financial secrets and twisted lies ruins the young couple’s future. And while the rise of their careers and romance seems meteoric, the ensuing fall is deadly. -Death Outranks Love, Fatal Vows (S6, E10)

Date: March 7, 2013
Victim: Margorie Holland, Army National Guard veteran, pregnant
Offender: Roger Holland, Army National Guard veteran, unemployed
Location: Apple Valley, Minnesota
Circumstances: Army soldier Margorie Brown of Minnesota met Army soldier Roger Holland of Missouri in the National Guard, Margorie’s ex-husband was abusive, both of them spent months overseas while serving, they eloped after a year of courtship, lived in Texas with Margorie’s brother, Margorie trusted Roger to take care of all the bills, Roger had no credit, Margorie had good credit, they bought everything in Margorie’s name, they were both E-7s making good money, they traveled a lot, Roger asked Margorie’s brother for a $6,000 loan and asked him not to tell Margorie, Margorie was unaware of the financial issues, Margorie got pregnant, they both left the military so they could focus on their family, they spent $20,000 on baby items and leased a couple new vehicles, Margorie stayed home and Roger was working for a private security contractor (claimed he made $140,000 a year), Roger never paid back Margorie’s brother, Margorie found out about a late payment notice in her name, learned they were in debt and everything was in her name, Margorie confronted Roger about the debt but he assured her it was under control, days later, something didn’t feel right so Margorie followed Roger to work and realized he wasn’t working, he was hanging out at coffee shops during the day as if he had a job but there was never a job, Roger is feeling trapped and starting to panic, Margorie confronted Roger about him not having a job, Margorie had a temper too and she would escalate but Roger always had a knack for calming her down, they had an argument at her parent’s house and she threatened him with divorce, Margorie was ready to leave Roger when he told her he got a new job in Texas and they could move to be closer to her brother, Margorie was found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their home, Roger alleged he found Margorie at the bottom of the stairs when he returned home, he believed she tripped and fell down the stairs, he gave the police his phone to prove that he had been outside the home when Margorie died, police noticed some scratches on Roger’s neck, Roger said Margorie scratched him in the morning while he was comforting her during some pregnancy cramps, the medical examiner discovered Margorie’s thyroid cartilage was broken during the autopsy which meant she had been strangled to death and this was a homicide, Margorie was 15 weeks pregnant, when police reviewed the financial records, they discovered the couple were $166,000 in debt, mostly credit cards and vehicle leases, the presumed motive was that Roger essentially built a house of cards, they also discovered a life insurance policy that he was the beneficiary of, then the police discovered Margorie was looking for any way out possible (she googled when it was safe to get an abortion), Roger did a google search about how to kill Margorie (he planned her murder), Roger was arrested for Margorie’s murder, Margorie had also learned that there was no job in Texas and that was a lie too, she learned that Roger accessed her money and used her name to get credit cards, police deduced that Margorie fought for her life in the struggle but Roger overpowered her and strangled her to death; Roger was charged with two counts of first degree murder (one for Margorie and one for the unborn baby)
Disposition: Roger Holland was found guilty of first degree murder and given two life sentences on December 16, 2013; Margorie’s family asked for consecutive sentences

Margorie Holland

Margorie Brown Holland (Photo: Investigation Discovery)

Source: “Death Outranks Love” Fatal Vows, Investigation Discovery

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.

Related Links:
Grand Jury Returns First-Degree Murder Indictment for Holland
Apple Valley man charged with murder of wife, unborn child
Minnesota Man Charged With Killing Pregnant Wife, Unborn Child
Roger Holland of Apple Valley allegedly murdered pregnant wife, attempted coverup
Man researched neck fractures before pregnant wife’s killing, police say
Trial set for man accused of killing pregnant wife
Defense: Death Of Fetus Was Abortion, Not Murder
Man accused of killing pregnant wife claims fetus’ death was abortion
Minnesota man argues fetal homicide was not a homicide but an “abortion”
Attorney Argues Death of Fetus in Minnesota Case Was Unlawful Abortion, Not Murder
Jury deliberating in Holland Murder Case
Apple Valley man found guilty of four counts of murder
Roger Holland convicted on all counts of murdering pregnant wife
Minnesota man convicted in murders of wife and their unborn child
Former National Guard member found guilty of strangling his wife while she was pregnant with their first child
Minn. man gets life in slaying of pregnant wife
Roger Holland sentenced to life in prison for murder of pregnant wife
Holland sentenced to two life sentences in murder of pregnant wife
Roger Holland gets two consecutive life terms for killing pregnant wife
Death Outranks Love | Fatal Vows | Investigation Discovery (S6, E10)

Pregnant Samira Watkins Found Dead in Bayou Grande in Florida; Navy Sailor Zachary Littleton Convicted of 1st Degree Murder, Sentenced to Life (2009)

Pensacola, Florida resident Samira Watkins’ body was discovered stuffed inside a duffel bag floating along the west bank of the Bayou Grande on November 3, 2009. Samira, 25, was 2-months’-pregnant and the mother of one child; she was reported missing by her family on October 29, 2009. After an investigation, Navy sailor Zachary Littleton, 26, was arrested for homicide at the Pensacola Naval Air Station on November 23, 2009 and held without bond. A search of Zachary Littleton’s computer showed that he planned Samira Watkins’ murder.

Prosecutors allege Littleton could no longer juggle his affairs with other women: Samira was pregnant with his child and would not have an abortion; his wife, who was also in the Navy, was about to move to Pensacola to live with him; and, if the Navy found out about Samira’s pregnancy, it could end his military career. Adultery is a crime in the military and punishable by the Uniform Code of Military Justice. In June 2011, Zachary Littleton was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Littleton’s attorney said the evidence in the case was circumstantial and maintained his innocence.

According to prosecutors, the crime happened like this:

  • After breaking it off with Samira Watkins, Zachary Littleton made several phone calls to Samira.
  • He lured her to his home under the guise of working things out and discussing the pregnancy.
  • When she arrived, he strangled her until she was unconscious.
  • He put tape on her mouth and then stuffed her inside of duffel bag.
  • After that, he drove to the Bayou Grande and dumped her body from the bridge.
  • He later dumped her car in another area, before calling a taxi to pick him up at the Waffle House.

Related Links:
Missing Pregnant Woman Washed Ashore in Pensacola, Florida
Pregnant Pensacola woman’s body found stuffed in duffel bag, aunt says
Samira Watkins murder arrest
Samira Watkins murder investigation arrest
Pensacola military officer charged in death of pregnant woman
Navy Officer Gets Bail In Case of Slain Pregnant Woman
Bond denied for Pensacola NAS MP as new details emerge in pregnant woman’s death
Sailor Accused of Murdering Samira Watkins to Appear in Florida Court Feb 16
Trial Begins: Man Allegedly Killed Girlfriend Refusing Abortion
Man gets life for killing pregnant mistress
Concerned Citizens of Pensacola Florida Facebook Post (October 15, 2013)
Samira Watkins: Navy Husband Dumps Pregnant Lover In Bayou On ‘Forbidden: Dying’
Samira Watkins: Navy Husband Dumps Pregnant Lover In Bayou On ‘Forbidden: Dying’ (2)
Zachary Littleton vs State of Florida (2017)
Zachary Littleton, Petitioner, v. STATE of Florida, Respondent (2017)
Devil in Uniform | Fatal Attraction (Investigation Discovery)
The Girl with the Gold Earring | Forbidden: Dying for Love (Investigation Discovery)


A young mom falls for a married military man after a chance meeting at his naval base. -Forbidden: Dying for Love

Fort Bragg Army Soldier Edgar Patino Murdered Army Specialist Megan Touma & Unborn Son After Argument, Sentenced to 16-20 Years in Prison (2008)

Spc Megan Touma, US Army (2008)

Spc Megan Touma, US Army

US Army soldier Spc Megan Touma, 23, was murdered by a fellow US Army soldier, Edgar Patino, in June 2008. She had a relationship with Patino when she was stationed in Germany. He gave her an engagement ring and asked her to marry him. She did not know that he was married. Shortly after Patino left Germany, Megan learned that she was pregnant. She chose to transfer to Fort Bragg, North Carolina so she could be with Edgar Patino. Patino stopped by her hotel room to tell her that he did not want to be with her. They argued and Patino strangled her. Megan was 7 months pregnant when Patino murdered her. In November 2010 Edgar Patino was convicted of second degree murder and was sentenced to 16-20 years in prison.

Related Links:
Spc. Megan Touma, US Army (WRAL)
Pregnant Soldier Found Dead in Hotel
Pregnant Servicewoman’s Death Near North Carolina Base Called Suspicious
Ex-husband: Army said dead soldier was AWOL
Army Says Rules Not Followed In Ky. Soldier’s Death
Memorial Services Held for Pregnant Soldier
Touma’s death ruled a homicide
US authorities rule pregnant soldier’s death a homicide
Army Joins Search For Soldier’s Killer
Investigation continues in pregnant GI death
Questions remain in pregnant soldier death
Arrest Made in Touma Murder
Soldier Charged in Touma Death
Arrest Made in Murder of Pregnant North Carolina Soldier, Suspect Due in Court
Soldier arrested in slaying of Megan Houma
U.S. Military Keeping Secrets About Female Soldiers’ ‘Suicides’?
Sgt. was father of slain soldier’s unborn child
Suspect in soldier’s death was father of her baby, police say
Sgt. pleads guilty in death of pregnant spc.
Bragg soldier pleads guilty to killing pregnant comrade
The Murder of Military Women Continues
The Fort Bragg Murders
Death on the Home Front
Deadly Affairs: Adultery in the Army (Investigation Discovery promo)
Deadly Affairs: Adultery in the Army (Investigation Discovery)
Scorned Love Kills: Love is a Battlefield (Investigation Discovery)


American soldier Megan Touma has left her husband for her lover Edgar. Turns out Edgar has a spouse of his own. When Megan gets pregnant Edgar must make a decision between two women. Someone will be left brokenhearted and someone will be left dead. -Discovery ID

Camp Lejeune Marine Maria Lauterbach & Unborn Child Murdered, Remains Discovered in Fellow Marine’s Backyard; Cesar Laurean Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (December 15, 2007)

LCpl Maria Lauterbach, USMC (2007)

Maria Lauterbach, US Marine Corps

The family of slain Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach is hailing recent provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act that profoundly change the way the Department of Defense will handle sexual assault charges…Provisions include access to legal counsel for victims and the right to request a base transfer. Lauterbach’s mother, Mary Lauterbach of Vandalia, said the new law would have made the difference in the case of her daughter, who was denied a base transfer after accusing fellow Marine Cesar Laurean of sexual assault. “Maria would be alive today if the base transfer had been available to her,” she said. Representative Mike Turner (R-OH) concurred, “In civilian life you have complete control of your movements, and if you’re in an unsafe situation you can remove yourself. In military life, the victim needs permission to take even basic self-preservation actions.” –Dayton Daily News (December 25, 2011)

In the News:

The murder of pregnant Camp Lejeune Marine Maria Lauterbach has many people examining North Carolina’s fetal homicide law. North Carolina is one of twelve states that does not have an unborn child homicide law. Cesar Laurean, the Marine Corporal suspected of killing Lauterbach, only faces a murder charge in her death, not the death of the fetus. Henderson County state representative Trudi Walend proposed House Bill 263 to change that. Walend believes our state leaders have a fear that recognizing an unborn child might affects pro choice laws. -WITN-TV (January 15, 2008)

The autopsy shows that 20 year old Maria Lauterbach, who disappeared mid-December in North Carolina died from blunt force trauma. The sheriff says the autopsy also shows that Lauterbach died before her family reported her missing. -Associated Press (January 16, 2008)

Maria Lauterbach Case – Autopsy Confirms Body Is Lauterbach -WITN-TV (January 16, 2008)

Authorities say murder suspect Cesar Laurean has probably gone into hiding. His truck was found in a motel parking lot on Tuesday. An autopsy report confirmed burned remains found in his backyard were those of his pregnant colleague. -Associated Press (January 17, 2008)

Pregnant Marine’s mom laments her death -Today Show (March 12, 2008)

Missing Marine’s Uncle Speaks Out -ABC News (March 12, 2008)

The Oversight Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs holds a hearing, “Sexual Assault in the Military.” Panel one is Reps. Louise Slaughter (NY-28) and Jane Harman (CA-36); panel two is Ingrid Torres, MSW, CSW and Mary Lauterbach, Mother of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach; panel three includes representatives of the Defense Department, the Army, and the GAO. Mary Lauterbach, whose daughter was murdered after reporting a rape, testifies. -Nancy Pelosi (July 31, 2008)

A Marine who fled to Mexico shortly before he was charged with killing a pregnant colleague in North Carolina has been returned to the U.S., according to an FBI spokeswoman. -Associated Press (April 17, 2009)

Lauterbach murder trial to begin -WDTNTV (August 2, 2010)

The attorney for an ex-Marine accused of killing a pregnant colleague says the victim’s lies may have so angered the defendant he couldn’t have premeditated the murder. -Associated Press (August 12, 2010)

A North Carolina jury says a former Marine is guilty of first-degree murder in the death of a pregnant colleague whose remains were found under a backyard firepit. -WITN (August 24, 2010)

Dept. of Defense Gives New Provisions to Military’s Victims of Sexual Assault -WKEF/WRGT (August 15, 2013)

Major Hurdle Cleared for Victims of Sexual Assault in the Military -WKEF/WRGT (December 20, 2013)

Law protecting military victims of sexual assault discussed | Expedited transfer policy includes provisions for victims of domestic violence -WDTN TV (May 1, 2018)

Investigation Discovery:

Cesar and Christina Laurean’s Marine marriage ranks perfection, but when Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach, joins the regiment, disaster strikes. -Burned by Desire, Deadly Affairs (S3,E3)

Video Links:
Maria Lauterbach Case – Search for the Body 1/14/2008
Maria Lauterbach Case – Search for Laurean 1/14/2008
Maria Lauterbach Case – Body Recovered 1/14/2008
Maria Lauterbach Case – Changing NC Fetal Homicide Law 1/15/2008
Maria Lauterbach Case – National Billboards Going Up 1/15/2008
Maria Lauterbach Case – Laurean’s Truck Found Near Raleigh 1/16/2008
Maria Lauterbach Case – Autopsy Confirms Body Is Lauterbach 1/16/2008
D.A.: ‘Marine Killed by Blunt Force Trauma’ 1/16/2008
Marine Accused of Murder Still at Large 1/17/2008
Media Puts Spotlight on Case of Missing Marine 1/18/2008
Laurean’s Wife Delayed Talking to Cops About Murder 1/21/2008
Maria Lauterbach Case – Laurean on America’s Most Wanted 1/21/2008
Congressman Asks Mexico For Help In Catching Laurean 1/21/2008
Photos Go Inside Marine Murder Suspect’s Home 1/22/2008
Maria Lauterbach Case – More Photos and Videos Released 1/29/2008
Mexico Issues Arrest Warrant for Marine 1/29/2008
Latest on Missing Marine wanted over pregnant woman’s death
Fetal Homicide Law In NC 2/1/2008
Pregnant Marine’s mom laments her death 3/12/2008
Missing Marine’s Uncle Speaks Out 3/12/2008
Residents of village where Cesar Laurean was hiding talk about the Marine 4/10/2008
Marine’s extradition process under way 4/11/2008
Suspect in killing of pregnant Marine in custody, state attorney presser
Email From Cesar Laurean 4/14/2008
Hearing on Sexual Assault in the Military – Tierney Opening 7/31/2008
Hearing on Sexual Assault in the Military – Lauterbach 7/31/2008
Hearing on Sexual Assault in the Military – Rep. Slaughter 7/31/2008
Hearing on Sexual Assault in the Military – Rep. Harman 7/31/2008
Hearing on Sexual Assault in the Military – Contempt for DOD 7/31/2008
Prosecutor’s Intern Arrested, Slain Marine Case 8/15/2008
Marine Charged in Slaying Fighting Extradition 10/14/2008
Marine Returned to NC to Face Murder Charge 4/17/2009
Laurean Not Father of Lauterbach Baby 5/15/2009
Lauterbach murder trial to begin 8/2/2010
Lawyer: Ex-Marine Didn’t Plan to Kill Colleague 8/12/2010
Cesar Laurean Guilty Of Murder 8/24/2010
Dept. of Defense Gives New Provisions to Military’s Victims of Sexual Assault 8/15/2013
Major Hurdle Cleared for Victims of Sexual Assault in the Military 12/20/2013
Law protecting military victims of sexual assault discussed 5/1/2018
Carnal Appetite | Deadly Sins | Investigation Discovery (S1,E1)
Burned by Desire | Deadly Affairs | Investigation Discovery (S3,E3)

Related Links:
Obituary: Maria and Gabriel Lauterbach
Disappearance of Pregnant Marine Probed by North Carolina Authorities
Pregnant Marine missing from North Carolina base
Search for Pregnant Marine Intensifies
Adult, fetus found in shallow grave may be missing Marine
Blood, possible grave of pregnant Marine found at suspect’s house
Scenes From a Pregnant Marine’s Murder
Initial autopsy findings on slain Marine: Fetus not born alive
Grand jury indicts fugitive Marine in woman’s death
Remains of Adult Found; Marine Charged
Military: Slain Marine said she was not afraid of suspect
Pregnant Marine’s mom laments her death
N.C. Investigators Issue Warrant in ‘Disgusting’ Murder of Pregnant Marine
Police Confirm Truck Found in Hotel Parking Lot Belongs to Marine on the Run
Suspect in Slaying of Pregnant Marine Spotted
Marine on the Lam Spotted in Louisiana
Murdered Marine Suspect Spotted in Louisiana, May Be Headed to Texas
No ‘confirmed sightings’ of suspect in Marine’s killing
Mexico issues warrant for Laurean a week after sighting
Sheriff: Missing Pregnant Marine Is Dead, Corporal She Accused of Raping Her Named Suspect
Suspect: Pregnant Marine Killed Herself
Congressman Mike Turner Calls on DOD to Investigate Marines’ Handling of Rape and Murder Case of Maria Lauterbach
Lauterbach’s mother will see Laurean for 1st time at trial
Lauterbach ‘compulsive liar’ at times, mom says
Marines: Lauterbach was known liar
Laurean convicted in pregnant Marine’s death
Laurean guilty of Marine’s murder
Cesar Laurean Guilty of Murder of Pregnant Marine Maria Lauterbach
Former Marine Cesar Laurean Found Guilty of Pregnant Colleague Murder
Ex-Marine Guilty of Killing Pregnant Colleague Found Buried in Firepit
Ex-Marine convicted of killing colleague feels wrath of victim’s mom
Cesar Laurean Moved To Central Prison After Guilty Verdict
Wife of pregnant Marine’s killer won’t be charged
Lauterbach gives voice to slain daughter, works to change sexual assault law
DoD IG: Review of Matters Related to the Sexual Assault of Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach, U.S. Marine Corps (Redacted)
Lauterbach Sexual Assault Case Prompts Policy Reforms in Military
The Tragic Case of Maria Lauterbach
Marine mother shares tragic story of daughter’s sexual assault, murder
Tribute to Maria (YouTube)

Marine Corps Reservist Rosendo Rodriguez Murdered Summer Baldwin and Unborn Child; Sentenced to Death in Texas for Two Capital Murders (2005)

image1

Summer Baldwin and Rosendo Rodriguez, US Marine Corps Reserve

On September 13, 2005, Summer Baldwin, 29, was found in a suitcase in a landfill in Lubbock, Texas. After an extensive investigation, authorities zeroed in on US Marine Corps Reservist Rosendo Rodriguez. In the course of the investigation, Rodriguez also admitted to murdering Joanna Rogers, 16, on May 4, 2004 in Lubbock Texas. Rodriguez was found guilty of two capital murders: Summer Baldwin and her unborn baby. Rosendo Rodriguez was sentenced to death in the State of Texas. Rodriguez appealed his death penalty conviction but a federal court denied the request in May 2017.

On September 13, 2005, the Lubbock Texas landfill discovered the dead body of a female in a suitcase. The horrified foreman called the police and they rushed to the scene. The police believed that any human being that can do this to another human being is the lowest form of life. Police were angered by the injuries and pain Summer must have suffered with. She most likely died 48 hours prior to the discovery of her body. Police noted the landfill is not a sanitary place and it makes it difficult to collect forensic evidence. Investigators had to turn to her body to find clues. The medical examiner found a tattoo ‘Summer’ on her wrist and they entered her fingerprints in the system in the hopes they could determine who she was. They learned the deceased individual was Summer Baldwin. The police now had the difficult task of informing her mother 200 miles away in Roswell, New Mexico.

Summer grew up in New Mexico. She studied cosmetology and eventually ended up in Lubbock, Texas near her Aunt Terri to make a life for herself. Aunt Terri shared that Summer was only in Lubbock for 3 or 4 days and that was the last time she saw her. Upon the examination of Summer’s body, it was noted there were very obvious injuries to her body and she fought back against her attacker. She was severely beaten before she died and was thrown out like garbage. It broke her family’s heart to learn that she suffered so much before dying. Anyone could have done it and police needed leads. They began with the garbage collection employees to determine which dumpster she had been found in. The police looked at CCTV but the footage was useless. The medical examiner also determined that Summer was about five weeks pregnant. In Texas, this was a double homicide.

To investigators, an unborn child meant there was a father out there and a potential suspect. The police started reaching out to friends and family to learn more about Summer’s life and the one name that kept surfacing was Margie Estrada. Police would learn the two were inseparable friends. After informing a shocked Margie that Summer was dead, she was quick to offer up a suspect, Laquincy Freeman. Summer and Laquincy were boyfriend/girlfriend and known for stints of verbal altercations. He was definitely someone police needed to question if they could track him down. Finally they obtained an address for him so they picked Laquincy up for questioning. At this point, he was considered the prime suspect. He seemed strangely calm about Summer’s death but he admitted they dated, broke up, and he moved on. He wasn’t anywhere near his ex at the time of her murder. Police ask him to take a lie detector test and he passed with no signs of deception. The police let him go.

After some time passed, Summer’s best friend Margie went back to the police station because she felt she left out an important detail. She said she spotted Summer at a 7-11 convenience store and she was with a man she had never seen before. But she was able to describe him as a light skinned Hispanic who was clean cut. Margie said Summer drove off with him and provided a scant description of the vehicle: a red pick-up. Police chased this lead and headed to the 7-11 convenience store to look at the CCTV video footage. They hoped it would help them determine who was with Summer that night and maybe even what he was driving. The detectives catch a break and spot the red pick-up truck at about 11:30 p.m.; they are able to determine it’s most likely a Dodge Ram but couldn’t see Summer or ID the driver.

Detectives next turned to the suitcase to see if they could find any evidence. They observed the suitcase appeared to be new as if it was recently purchased. They found a UPC code on the inside and hoped it was traceable. They learned Wal-Mart was the only store that carried that suitcase and there were only two Wal-Marts in Lubbock. They headed to the stores and learned that specific suitcase was sold a couple of times, one in the afternoon and one at 3 a.m., a couple hours after Summer was spotted at the 7-11. Detectives combed through the CCTV video footage at Wal-Mart and saw the suitcase being purchased in the afternoon but couldn’t see the person. But they were able to track down the purchaser via a Wal-Mart loyalty card. This person came back clean so they moved on to the suitcase purchased at 3:20 a.m.

When they were viewing the CCTV video footage, all the police could see was a Hispanic male with a military haircut purchasing a suitcase. But when they looked closer, this same person made a second purchase; they would learn via other video footage in the store that the second purchase was a box of latex gloves. This was consistent with someone who didn’t want to get caught. In hindsight, this was a chilling combination. Now they needed to tie this individual to a red truck so they used outside CCTV video footage to track his movements in the parking lot. They observed this man calmly walk out, dragging the suitcase in hand, and he headed towards a dark colored pick-up truck. They couldn’t make out the vehicle on his way out but they were able to determine the make of the pick-up truck on his way into the Wal-Mart parking lot. But the footage was too blurry to give them a license plate number. Police were certain they had their man.

The Lubbock police zeroed in on their new suspect. They had him on camera and observed he used a debit or credit card to make the suitcase purchase. The police had to get a search warrant for the bank so they could determine who owned that card. The card belonged to Rosendo Rodriguez, a 25 year old whose permanent residence was 400 miles away in San Antonio, Texas. The debit card also reveals Rodriguez made another purchase in Lubbock on the day of Summer’s murder. It was a purchase at the same 7-11 Summer had been spotted at prior to her murder. The video footage police collected was crucial because it proved that Rodriguez was in the general vicinity on the day of the murder. After getting a name, police learned Rodriguez was a Reservist with the US Marine Corps and his reserve unit was based in Lubbock, Texas. Police contacted the Marines and learn that Rodriguez did not stay on base because he normally stays at a Holiday Inn.

The Holiday Inn Rodriguez usually stayed at just happened to be across the street from the same 7-11 where he made a purchase the day Summer Baldwin was last seen alive. Investigators raced to the hotel but Rodriguez had already checked out but they were able to search his hotel room. The police called in the forensic’s team for assistance and they found a patch of dry blood, a Wal-Mart bag, and some latex gloves. Now, detectives were ready to arrest Rosendo Rodriguez. And it wasn’t hard because he was at his mother’s house. Once questioned, he talked and told a very self serving story. He admitted to taking Summer back to his room and having consensual sex with her. But then he claims they got into an argument and she pulled a knife out on him. In self-defense, he put her in a choke hold and she still wouldn’t drop the knife. Eventually she stopped fighting and dropped to the floor.

Rosendo’s statement to the police did not match the medical examiner’s findings whatsoever. The police deduced Rodriguez was just a liar. Rodriguez even had an excuse for the blood at the scene; he claimed Summer had a nose bleed. Everything Rodriguez said was inconsistent with the forensic evidence. In March 2008, Rosendo Rodriguez went on trial in Texas for two capital murders: Summer and her unborn child. Shockingly, Rodriguez also admitted to killing Joanna Rogers. She was someone that had been missing since 2004 and it appeared that he murdered Joanna and Summer in the same way. Rodriguez had an excuse for Joanna’s murder too. He claimed she started raising her voice so he put his hands around her throat and choked her. On April 1st, 2008, Rosendo Rodriguez was found guilty of two capital murders in Texas and sentenced to death. Summer’s mom is devastated by the loss and aid she was patiently awaiting the execution date.

Related Links:
Missing in America
New Details in Summer Baldwin Murder Case
Break in Disappearance of Texas Teenager
Mother Agonizes Over Missing Teen
Joanna Rogers’ Family Speaks Out About Alleged Murder Confession
Baldwin possibly alive when stuffed in suitcase, put in Lubbock Dumpster
Man who stuffed pregnant woman in suitcase convicted of murder
Killer who dumped pregnant woman’s body gets death
Rosendo Rodriguez Capital Murder Trial – Day Three Wrap-Up
Rodriguez gets death penalty in Baldwin murder
Six year anniversary of the disappearance of Joanna Rogers
Rosendo Rodriguez III v. State of Texas (2011)
Rodriguez appeal to resume in June
Rosendo Rodriguez Back in Lubbock to Appeal Death Penalty
Lubbock judge recommends denial of ‘suitcase killer’ appeal
Judge recommends ‘Suitcase Killer’ Rodriguez’s latest appeal be denied
Appeal rejected for man convicted of killing pregnant Lubbock woman
Execution date set for death row inmate from Lubbock
Rosendo Rodriguez III v Texas Department of Criminal Justice (2017)
San Antonio man condemned for killing pregnant Lubbock woman loses federal appeal
Condemned Texas man loses appeal in death of pregnant woman
Man condemned for killing West Texas woman loses federal appeal
Suitcase Killer Solved (YouTube)
Forensic Files: Seeing Red (YouTube)


When a young woman is found dead in a Texas landfill, detectives race to discover the killer behind the brutal crime. With no leads, police turn to their only witnesses: video cameras that captured the murderer’s chilling attempt to cover his tracks. -Investigation Discovery

Dishonorably Discharged Air Force Veteran Dan Leach II Murdered Ashley Wilson; Confessed to Homicide, Sentenced to 75 Years in Prison (2004)


Nineteen-year-old Ashley Wilson is ecstatic when she discovers she’s going to be a new mom. But days later, the Texas teen is found dead in her apartment with a hand-written suicide note by her side. -Stolen Voices, Buried Secrets

“He [Dan Leach] said his son was ‘disappointed’ when he returned from his stint with the Air Force where he was based in Florida and was eventually dishonorably discharged.” -Fort Bend Herald

Related Links:
Dan Randall Leach, II
Killer confesses: Teen’s death not suicide
‘Passion’ viewing prompts confession
Film prompts murder confession
Passion of Christ prompted strangler’s confession
Man confesses to murder after seeing Gibson’s film of Jesus
Killer’s ‘Passion’ confession: ‘I was like a machine’
Crime and ‘Passion’: Man Describes Killing
Texas Passion Case: Criminal Confesses after Viewing ‘The Passion’
Dan Leach testifies in his own defense
Dan Randal Leach II v. The State of Texas–Appeal from 268th District Court of Fort Bend County (2008)
Complaint says autopsy missed pregnancy, botched murder case
Ashley Wilson | Stolen Voices, Buried Secrets | Investigation Discovery
Mortal Sin | Stolen Voices, Buried Secrets | Investigation Discovery
Suicide or Murder? | Evil Talks Chilling Confessions | Investigation Discovery


When a young woman is found dead in her own apartment, all signs point to suicide. But when a man comes forward to say it was really a murder, investigators must sort truth from lies. -Evil Talks Chilling Confessions