Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Woman's body in suitcase traced to teenage romance

How would you like to have a daughter like this one. I think not, and oh no not another illegal, who would have thunk it.

Priscila Rodriguez had only been dating Gerson Funes-Reina for a few weeks when she cut a hole in her bedroom window screen so her boyfriend could sneak inside her family's east Houston home.

Dressed all in black, Funes-Reina wore gloves and carried a length of nylon rope.

Once inside, the 18-year-old from Honduras handed his 17-year-old girlfriend a pair of ear plugs.

"You're going to need these," he said, and left the bedroom.

When he returned minutes later, he told her: "I've killed your mom."

That's the story Priscila Rodriguez told Harris County homicide detectives after her mother's body was found Sunday morning in the woods of northeast Harris County. Maria Rodriguez, 55, had been strangled and stuffed into a suitcase.

At first Priscila denied any involvement, but detectives soon noticed "something wasn't jiving right" in their conversations with her, said Sgt. Larry Davis of the Harris County Sheriff's homicide division.

After further questioning, Priscila admitted to helping Funes-Reina load her mother's body into the suitcase, which the couple later dumped in a wooded area near Guinn and 10th Street, about 15 miles from her home.

"She knew what she did was wrong," Davis said. "But as far as remorse, no."

On Monday, Priscila was charged with abuse of a corpse. Funes-Reina, who authorities say is in the United States illegally, was charged with her mother's murder. He is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment this morning.

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