U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu announced Friday a Virginia man pleaded guilty to a 2009 murder.
Fifty-two-year-old Jose Rodriguez-Cruz of Arlington killed Pamela Butler by strangulation. Approximately 8:20 p.m. February 13, Butler entered Butler’s residence in the 5800 block of Fourth Street and turned off the security alarm. He remained in the basement for about two hours and a dispute broke out between him and Butler. The argument concerned Rodriguez-Cruz’s financial status and job, which Butler believed he was not going enough to elevate or improve, according to court documents.
Rodriguez-Cruz punched Butler and she feel to the floor. He then straddled her body and strangled her until she died. He then carried her body upstairs and “lowered her body out of a window.” He placed her body in his vehicle, disposed of several objects near Oglethorpe Street, drove away and eventually disposed the body.
To avoid detection, Rodriguez-Cruz removed items, including a cellphone, from Butler’s residence and disposed of them. The Metropolitan Police Department never found Butler’s body.
The guilty plea requires Rodriguez-Cruz to provide police with the location of Butler’s body. An arrest warrant was obtained and law enforcement arrested him on April 8.