Man abducts estranged wife, ties 119-pound block of concrete to her before throwing her off bridge and killing her
36-year-old Rodolfo 'Rudy' Arellano faced death penalty if he was convicted at the trial but pleaded guilty to capital murder and will now serve life behind bars without parole
A man who abducted his estranged wife and threw her off the Lake Worth bridge after tying a 119-pound block of concrete to her pleaded guilty on Wednesday.
36-year-old Rodolfo “Rudy” Arellano faces life imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to kidnapping and then murdering his estranged 28-year-old wife Elizabeth Pule Arellano.
Rodolfo, who faced the death penalty if he was convicted at the trial, pleaded guilty to capital murder and will now serve life behind bars without a chance for parole.
Elizabeth had supposedly vanished after a night out with colleagues. The 28-year-old medical assistant had called a co-worker before her disappearance to say she’d made it safely to her parents’ home in Fort Worth in the early hours of April 16, 2016.
Her mother, who was expecting her daughter's arrival, instead found her daughter’s car abandoned nearby with the keys still in the ignition and her purse and cellphone inside.
Even before her mother reported her missing daughter to the authorities, Elizabeth's body had already been found and had been retrieved from Lake Worth earlier that day after fishermen reported seeing something falling from the bridge.
“One witness described hearing what sounded like screams on the way down,” Fort Worth homicide Detective J. Cedillo had noted in an arrest warrant affidavit to Star-Telegram.
The divers sent by authorities to retrieve the body said that the body had been found with a rope tied around her neck, and a large 119-pound block of concrete was attached to the other end. According to a report obtained by Star-Telegram, The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office ruled her death a homicide caused by drowning. The body of Elizabeth was found still wearing her maroon medical scrubs.
The couple had been dating since their time at Diamond Hill-Jarvis High school and had been together 13 years. But they had separated and Elizabeth had made plans to divorce her husband just prior to her murder. But Rodolpho learned of Elizabeth's plan and hatched a scheme of his own.
Rodolfo denied killing his estranged wife to the police while claiming to be at home the whole time, but phone records and surveillance video had shown him in the area of Elizabeth’s parents’ home around the time of her disappearance.
“Elizabeth Arellano was a mom and a daughter and a sister and friend and the people who love her know that they can’t have her back,” Bangs, the prosecutor, said in a statement to Star-Telegram. “So knowing that he is in prison for the remainder of his natural life and that is not going to change and knowing the comfort that brought them is what puts us where we are today.”