In February 2017, officials decided to reinvestigate Pamela Butler’s 2009 disappearance. Jose Rodriguez-Cruz, her boyfriend at the time, was the top suspect, but they needed more proof to arrest him.
Jose was finally brought to justice thanks to new witnesses and other circumstantial evidence, and he was convicted guilty of not one, but two murders.
The NBC News documentary ‘Dateline: A Haunting Stretch of Road‘ delves into how the cops tracked down Jose and the circumstances surrounding the murders. So, how about we find out what happened to him?
Must Read: Pamela Butler Murder Case
Who is Jose Rodriguez-Cruz And How She Met Pamela Butler?
Jose Rodriguez-Cruz used to be a member of the military police force. In 2009, he was seeing Pamela Butler, a 47-year-old woman from Alexandria, Virginia. When she vanished in February 2009, they had met online and had been together for five months.
Jose, who was working as an office manager at the time, said he had nothing to do with her disappearance. Despite the fact that the police believed Jose was the main suspect, the case went unresolved for several years due to a lack of tangible evidence.
However, when a detective re-examined the case in 2017, everything seemed to go back to Jose. A cadaver dog discovered the fragrance of decaying human remains in his car, in addition to video cameras that showed him moving in and out of Pamela’s house with bags.
The authorities were also aware that Jose’s then-wife, Marta Rodriguez, had vanished in May 1989 under suspicious circumstances. Marta had been kidnapped by Jose only a few months before.
Jose had previously been seen holding a gun to the head of another woman, according to a witness. He also stated that he had seen a note written by Jose that stated, “I Jose Angel Rodriguez Cruz am responsible for Marta’s disappearance.”
According to court filings in Marta’s case, he was reportedly overheard saying, “If I can’t have her, no one will.” As a result, officials suspect Jose killed Marta in 1989 to prevent her from testifying against him.
Then, in 2004, another lady claimed Jose had raped her. She was running a weekend booth with him at a local market at the time.
She said that they were at Jose’s house in January 2004 when he threatened her with a rifle, placed a pillow over her face, and told her, “I could kill you tomorrow, and no one would ever discover your body.” “I have the ability to make your body vanish.”
Jose allegedly sexually abused her while her three-year-old daughter was at home, threatening to rape the small girl as well, according to her.
The woman then said that she attempted to flee with her daughter while Jose was sleeping, but that when he awoke, she stabbed him. Jose refused to cooperate with the authorities, and the matter did not proceed to trial.
The authorities were certain that he was involved in both women’s disappearances because of his history of violence against women. As the pressure mounted, Jose finally gave in and admitted to killing Pamela after an argument at her home. After that, he confessed to killing Marta a few years later.
What Happened to Jose Rodriguez-Cruz?
Jose pled guilty to second-degree murder in Pamela’s case in October 2017, when he was 52 years old. In exchange for his release, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison and was required to lead officials to the body.
While pointing to a location along an interstate in Stafford County, Virginia, he failed to mention that the area had been dug up for construction and that the remains had never been recovered.
Marta’s body, on the other hand, was discovered in the same location in 1991 and was only recognised by DNA in 2018.
Jose pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the second time in November 2020, this time for the death of Marta. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison a few months later. However, Jose had to finish the 12 years he was serving for Pamela’s murder first.
Jose is still detained at the Federal Correctional Institution, Gilmer in Glenville, West Virginia, according to federal prison records. In 2027, he will be eligible for release from federal prison, at which point he will be required to return to Virginia to complete his sentence of 40 years.