Brother of murdered DC woman seeks charges in 1991 death of killer’s wife

In Dec. 2017, Derrick Butler watched as D.C. police searched near I-95 in Stafford County for the remains of his sister, Pamela, who was murdered in 2009. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

WASHINGTON — The brother of Pamela Butler — the D.C. woman who was murdered in 2009 — is fighting for prosecutors to charge his sister’s killer with another murder.

Jose Rodriguez-Cruz is serving 12 years in prison after admitting he killed Derrick Butler’s sister in the basement of her home and dumped her body in the median of Interstate 95, in Stafford County, Virginia.

Prosecutors in Virginia believe Rodriguez-Cruz also buried the remains of his estranged wife, Marta Haydee Rodriguez along the interstate.

Marta Rodriguez, of Arlington, Virginia, disappeared in 1989. Her remains were found in 1991, but weren’t identified until June 2018, almost a year after Rodriguez-Cruz was sentenced in Butler’s murder.

Although Virginia State Police said in June 2018 that charges were pending in the death of Marta Rodriguez, they have not been filed.

Frustrated by the pace, Derrick Butler is trying to ensure his sister’s killer also is charged in the death of Marta Rodriguez. He showed up, unannounced but accompanied by several TV crews, in Stafford County at the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office.

“I want to make sure he doesn’t get out of jail,” Butler told NBC Washington and other news organizations. “If he gets out of jail, we’re all in jeopardy.”

In part, Butler said he wants Rodriguez-Cruz to remain behind bars for the benefit of the son of Rodriguez-Cruz and Marta Rodriguez.

The adult son, who asked not to be identified, told reporters he believes his father killed his mother.

“I grew up, knowing how violent and explosive he could be,” the son said. “When I was around him I almost always feared that I would be next.”

After a 15-minute private meeting with prosecutors, Butler said he felt he got something accomplished.

“They understand that I’m not going anywhere,” said Butler. “They are investigating the case — they just have some challenges that they would not discuss with me.”

Contacted by WTOP, Olsen declined to specify if or when Rodriguez-Cruz will be charged with the murder of Marta Rodriguez.

“The challenges of investigating and gathering admissible evidence in a 30 year old cold case homicide investigation are significant,” said Olsen, in an email. “But a cold case does not mean a cold investigation.”

“My office and several law enforcement agencies are working to overcome the challenges, and the investigation is ongoing,” Olsen said.

Watch NBC Washington’s report: 

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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