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Mum ‘killed autistic son, 7, and stripped his body inspired by true crime TV’

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A mother accused of killing her autistic seven-year-old son told investigators she used techniques she saw on true crime TV shows when disposing of the child's body.

On Friday, Samantha Moreno Rodriguez, 35, of San Jose, California was indicted for the murder of little Liam Husted.

His body was found stripped of all clothing by hikers walking on a rural trail between Las Vegas and Pahrump, a town in Nevada, on May 28 this year.

According to court documents seen by the Las Vegas Review Journal, Rodriguez told investigators she was inspired by true crime television to strip the corpse of her son so it would be harder to link the child to her after she left the scene.

"Samantha indicated that she had watched television crime shows," Metropolitan Police Department homicide Detective Robert Ochsenhirt told a Grand Jury.

"[She] thought that by removing his clothing it would make it more difficult to associate him with her after she left the scene."

An artist's rendition of the corpse's face on newscasts and social media was recognised by a family friend and police soon contacted Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was arrested on June 8 in Denver, Colorado.

She was on an apparent breakfast date with a man who police say is not a suspect.

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"There's every indication that when she left San Jose that she was intending on starting a new life," Las Vegas Metro Homicide Lt. Ray Spencer told 8 News Now.

A coroner determined last week that the child died of strangulation.

A court heard that on May 27, she strangled the child in a fit of exasperation after she had shoved him and he hit his head and screamed 'louder than she had ever heard him scream before.'

"She wasn't so sure how to stop him from crying," said the detective. 'The things she had tried in the past to calm him down weren't working."

Rodriguez 'indicated kind of physically with her hands going toward her neck' when police asked whether she had laid hands on the child, Ochsenhirt said. When asked whether she put her hands around his neck, the detective said Rodriguez said yes.

Rodriguez strangled the child for 10 to 15 minutes until he 'stopped crying and breathing', detective Ochsenhirt said.

The accused will reappear in court on Wednesday.

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