Jose Angel Rodriguez Cruz and Marta Heidi
Mostafa Al Zoubi, Gulf Today
Pamela Butler disappeared 12 years ago and Marta Heidi disappeared 32 years ago, but they had one common link, Jose Angel Rodriguez Cruz.
Pamela Butler, a computer technician at the US Environmental Protection Agency, mysteriously disappeared, and her story looked like a plot from a crime movie, as CCTV monitored her entering her house, then she disappeared and did not come out of it.
When she didn't go to eat with her family as usual, her brother headed to her house to see that her two cars were there but the burglary alarm was not working, her bedsheets were missing along with her purse and keys.
Her house was messy.
Pamela was last seen on February 12, 2009, and the CCTV spotted her boyfriend, Jose Angel Rodriguez Cruz on February 13 entering the house.
Pamela and Cruz dated online and had been together for 5 weeks.
On being interrogated, Cruz said Pamela broke off relations with him on the night of February 13 without warning, and they parted as friends.
He was seen entering Pamela's house three times and was carrying large bags in the days following her disappearance. He told the police he was collecting his belongings.
The police spotted an open window and the curtains not drawn, unlike what Pamela used to do.
They initially suspected Cruz who cooperated with them, but his past made the police resume investigations as his wife, Marta Heidi Rodriguez, 26, disappeared on May 26, 1989, and he was the only suspect.
At the time the couple were separated after the wife, Marta Heidi, accused him of domestic violence.
Months before Marta's disappearance, Cruz was arrested for assaulting her.
A police officer saw Cruz pull her down the street and when his car was searched, a duct tape and a rope were found but the charges against him were dropped when his wife did not appear in court to testify. A week later she disappeared.
Cruz claimed she had been abroad and told his son his mother worked with drug dealers and left.
In 2000, a woman used Marta's name to get a driver's licence in Florida. The police contacted her husband that Marta was good.
They did not compare Marta” pictures with that woman who was a relative of Cruz.
The police charged Cruz with murdering Pamela. Six months later, he confessed he had beaten Pamela and strangled her.
He was sentenced to 12 years in jail, but he had to reveal the location of Pamela's body
He guided the police to Interstate 95 in Stafford County, Virginia, where he said he buried the body in a central reserve, but that area was dug up and many buildings came up.
Virginia State Police told investigators unidentified human remains were found near the same location in 1991, and DNA analysis showed they belonged to Cruz's missing wife, Marta.
Thirty years after her murder, Cruz, now 54, pleaded guilty to the murder and was sentenced to 40 years in jail.
A 36-year-old Arab man was imprisoned and prosecuted on murder charges for stabbing his girlfriend to death for wanting to end their relationship.
He constantly threatened her through various social media platforms, until the victim decided to file a harassment report against him.
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