After nearly 30 years, remains found in Va. identified as convicted killer’s wife

WASHINGTON — Virginia State Police investigators have identified the remains of a woman who disappeared in 1989 as the estranged wife of a man since convicted of killing another woman.

Two years after Marta Haydee Rodriguez disappeared at age 28, human remains were found along the highway in Stafford County, but the Virginia State Police said a medical examiner was unable to identify them until now.

The nurse’s aide was identified after the state and Arlington County police asked for the remains to be retested using new technology after the discovery of Butler’s remains.

Rodriguez was the estranged first wife of Jose Rodriguez-Cruz, who pleaded guilty last year to killing his girlfriend Pamela Butler in 2009.

Pamela Butler was last seen Feb. 12, 2009. (Courtesy Metropolitan Police Department)

As part of his plea deal in that case, Rodriguez said he’d lead investigators to where he buried Butler, which was determined to be in the median of I-95, between the Garrisonville Road and Quantico exits.

State investigators said the remains now identified as Rodriguez were also found in the highway median near the Garrisonville Road exit.

Prosecutors have said Rodriguez-Cruz may have had something to do with Rodriguez’s killing, but the identification of her remains has not yet led to new charges.

“The request was based on new information developed during a separate ongoing investigation involving her husband, Jose Rodriguez-Cruz,” the state police said in a news release.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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