Serving Franklin County, WA

Sheriff's Office: Remains those of 2019 homicide victim

Body found between Connell and Kahlotus

CONNELL — The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office confirmed July 11 that remains found six miles east of the city are those of a 2019 homicide victim.

The remains of Estella Torres-Rodriguez, 52, were recovered between Connell and Kahlotus in a remote location, the Sheriff’s Office confirmed. Torres-Rodriguez was reported missing in 2019.

Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Marcus Connor said the remains will be returned to her family in the near future.

Torres-Rodriguez was last seen March 28, 2019, and listed as missing the following month.

Her remains were recovered July 3, 2023, after investigators received an anonymous tip and a team of investigators were dispatched.

“The remains were found about 6 miles east Connell,” Connor said, noting the location is about 28 miles from the Torres-Rodriguez’s residence on Orchard Road in North Pasco, where the victim was last seen.

“It was a very remote area,” he said, noting there isn’t a correlation between the location of the remains and Connell itself.

Torres-Rodriguez is believed to have been killed on or about April 1, 2019, when her family returned home and found blood at the residence, records show.

Her SUV was later found at Hatton Coulee Rest Area near Hatton on April 4, 2019, records show. More blood was found inside, leading investigators to believe her body was transported using her own vehicle.

At the time, deputies identified two suspects – her son, Clemente Rodriguez-Torres, and estranged husband, Tiburcio Rodriguez. Both men fled to Mexico and initial warrants were dropped when not enough evidence was provided.

In September 2019, Torres turned himself in at the southern border and was later moved to Franklin County, where he is currently being held in jail awaiting trial.

Tiburbio remains on the lam; a warrant for his arrest is pending.

“Hopefully, this news will bring good outcomes, as well as bring the other [suspect] to justice,” Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Shawn Sant said.

 

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