New information in the breaking news we first brought you on Newschannel 11 at 5. We told you Lubbock County has secured the funds to search for missing Lubbock teen Joanna Rogers. NewsChannel 11's Jennifer Vogel has the new developments.
Lubbock County Sheriff David Gutierrez has just received word from Austin that the Governor's office will fund $100,000 to help in the search for Joanna Roger's body. The Sheriff met with Ken Nicolas, the Director of Criminal Justice in the Governor's office. He authorized money for the search and said he would be willing to allocate additional funds if necessary.
It was two months ago that Rosendo Rodriguez confessed to killing the missing teen. He told investigators he strangled the teen, put her body in a suitcase, which now could be in the city landfill.
Over the past few weeks, Lubbock Sheriff's office teamed up with Team Adam from the Missing and Exploited Children to help with a plan and budget to assist in the landfill search. Numerous other agencies will also help with equipment and expertise when the digging begins.
The search is expected to begin in the next week. Investigators will dig in a 100-by-150 foot area that is 24 feet deep. They say there are three phases in the search, the first will be to bulldoze top garbage layers, then phases two and three will be to go through the garbage by hand to look for any piece of evidence. Sheriff's tell us one way they will look for clues, is to look at old garbage, like old newspapers, to try and find dates so they know if they're close to the time Joanna went missing. The entire process is scheduled to take 2-3 weeks.
Again Joanna has been missing since May of 2004. And the sheriff's office says they hope this search will bring closure to the case.
County Commissioners are supposed to meet Monday to try and find money, but thanks to the Governor's office, they will no longer need to.
Joanna Rogers' Family Speaks Out About Alleged Murder Confession
Sources tell NewsChannel 11 that Rosendo Rodriguez has confessed to the murder of Joanna Rogers. The Rogers family tells us they want hard evidence before accepting a confession from an accused murderer.