Joanna Rogers' Family Speaks Out About Alleged Murder Confession

Published: Jun. 8, 2006 at 1:37 AM CDT|Updated: Dec. 14, 2014 at 5:45 AM CST
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The Rogers family tells us they want hard evidence before accepting a confession from an accused murderer. Sources tell Newschannel 11 that Rosendo Rodriguez has confessed to the murder of Joanna Rogers.

She's been missing since May of 2004. Rodriguez is the same man who's charged with capital murder in the death of Summer Baldwin. Baldwin's body was found inside a suitcase at the city landfill last September. Now, Rodriguez is allegedly confessing to killing Rogers and putting her body in one suitcase, her clothes in another and dumping the suitcases in different dumpsters. Wednesday's news comes as the Lubbock district attorney's office is negotiating with Rodriguez.

The reported confession also comes just 13 days after the Rogers family made this plea on NewsChannel 11 in honor of Missing Children's Day. Joanna's parents said on May 25, 2006, "If Joanna is out there, we love her and we miss her. If we could send a message to Joanna, everybody hurts cause she's not here. If you know where she is please tell us."

NewsChannel 11's Jennifer Vogel visited the Roger's home in South Lubbock, and asks them, about their visit with the District Attorney Wednesday morning.

The Rogers did visit the district attorney's office this morning, but they were told, this confession might not be the end of the story of their missing teen. We spoke with Joanna's parents and as expected, they are hurt, angry, confused and even a little relieved.

"We don't know all the details, and we don't want them to be honest with you." Two years after 16-year-old Joanna disappeared from her home, her parents learn she might not ever come back alive. "I've been dealing with that fact for months now, and it's not surprising to me. It's disappointing that it's getting close to be true."

Kathy and Joe Bill Rogers learned back in December that a man named Rosendo Rodriguez, an accused murderer, might be a suspect in their own daughter's disappearance. Rodriguez is charged with the murder of Summer Baldwin. Now, sources say Rosendo confessed to killing Joanna.

"I don't assume he's telling the truth until we have firm evidence... unfortunately, I still feel skepticism. Is he just doing this to save himself?"

The District Attorney says they are negotiating with Rodriguez, but will not comment on the case as it is an ongoing investigation.  But whatever news may come, Kathy and Joe Bill stand by their mission to 'Bring Jo Home.'  Joe Bill says, "If I could have my daughter back alive, I just want her back however it happens."  Kathy says, "We want to bring her back and bring justice to Joanna and Summer."

Of course, Kathy is talking about bringing justice to her daughter Joanna, and Summer, the victim allegedly killed by Rosendo back in September.

Another Lubbock woman is missing. Jennifer Wilkerson was last seen July 13, 2004. Back in March, authorities used cadaver dogs to search for Wilkerson or any evidence on a 160 acre property northwest of Reese Technology Center. A body was not found but evidence found at the scene is still being processed for dna.

How Rodriguez is Linked to Suitcase Murder and Missing Teen
The Rogers family says if it wasn't for someone finding Summer Baldwin's body, investigators may have never found Rosendo Rodriguez, the man charged with her death. And without Rodriguez, the hope of finding missing teen Joanna Rogers could have remained a mystery. NewsChannel 11's Cecelia Coy reports about the connection between the suspect and the victims.
Links to Joanna Rogers/Jennifer Lynn Wilkerson Websites
Get the latest news and information on the search for both Joanna Kathryn Rogers and Jennifer Lynn Wilkerson.