Authorities have named a suspect in the disappearance of Joanna Rogers. An Amber Alert was issued for the sixteen-year-old on May 6th, 2004. Investigators are now calling Rosendo Rodriguez a primary suspect in the case. He's the same man charged with capital murder in the death of another Lubbock woman.
NewsChannel 11 first uncovered the connection between Joanna Rogers and Rosendo Rodriguez weeks ago, but we held the information at the request of the Lubbock County Sheriff's department so we would not hinder their investigation. Thursday, county authorities are talking on camera for the first time naming Rodriguez as the primary suspect in Joanna's disappearance.
Rosendo Rodriguez appeared in court Thursday for a hearing regarding the murder of Summer Baldwin. Summer Baldwin was the woman who was found dead inside a suitcase at the city landfill. But the charges against him in that case would be over-shadowed by news of his alleged involvement in one of Lubbock's most high-profile missing persons cases.
NewsChannel 11 asked Chief Deputy Paul Scarborough, "would you consider Rosendo Rodriguez a suspect in the Joanna Rogers case?" He Scarborough answered, "at this point I believe we have classified him as a suspect because of the nature of connections that we've made."
Scarborough is talking to Newschannel 11 for the first time about the tie between Baldwin's murder and missing teen Joanna Rogers.
NewsChannel 11 asked, "what exactly is the connection between Rosendo Rodriguez and Joanna Rogers?" Scarborough's answer, "there is a mention of him in some of her records and a mention of her in some of his that we've been able to make a connection with."
Investigators say an analysis of the computers taken from Rodriguez and Rogers proves the two have communicated. "The nature of this case has been stressful, but we don't breath a sigh of relief until the verdict," replied Scarborough.
The Lubbock sheriff's office tells NewsChannel 11 they are still investigating Rodriguez's involvement with Joanna. Once they feel they have enough evidence, they'll present the case to the district attorney's office. Right now, this is still being investigated as a missing person's case.
The sheriff's department is also still investigating the case of missing woman Jennifer Wilkerson. She went missing just two months after Joanna and at the time, there were some similarities in the cases. We did ask investigators if there was a connection between Rodriguez and Wilkerson and Chief Scarborough tells us they are looking into it, but they do not know if there is a connection at this time.
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