Texas Man Gets Life Sentence for Tying Concrete to His Wife’s Neck and Throwing Her Into a Lake
A Texas man will spend the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty to murdering his wife by tying her to a 119-pound block of concrete before throwing her into a lake to drown.
Rodolfo “Rudy” Arellano, 36, pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murdering Elizabeth Pule Arellano, PEOPLE confirms. Under the plea agreement, he will not be given the death penalty but will spend the rest of his life behind bars without the possibility of parole.
Elizabeth had gone out with colleagues on the evening of April 15, 2016. After leaving her friends, she went to her parents’ house for the night, calling a co-worker to say that she had made it home safely. But early the next morning, Elizabeth’s mother found her daughter missing. Her car, in which her cellphone and purse were on the passenger seat, had been abandoned.
By the time Elizabeth’s mother reported her missing to Fort Worth police, the woman had already been found. Her body had been pulled from Lake Worth earlier that day after fishermen reported seeing something falling from the bridge.
In an arrest warrant affidavit first obtained by the Star-Telegram, a detective wrote, “One witness described hearing what sounded like screams on the way down.”
Authorities sent divers into the lake and found Elizabeth’s body. A rope had been tied around her neck. The other end of the rope was attached to a large piece of concrete.
Elizabeth, a 28-year-old medical assistant, was still wearing her maroon medical scrubs.
Husband Rudy told police that he had been home on the night of the murder. An investigation showed that cell phone pings and surveillance video placed him near Elizabeth’s parents’ home when she disappeared.
Detectives executed a search warrant for Arellano’s home and found that he had recently torn down a wooden fence for a friend. The fence had posts encased in chunks of concrete that were similar to the one used to weigh down Elizabeth’s body.
More concrete was found in his backyard and his pickup truck.
It was a shocking end for the couple, who had been high school sweethearts and had four children together.
Prosecutor Allenna Bangs told The Star-Telegram that Elizabeth’s family took comfort with the plea deal — and were happy that Arellano will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
“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 told the paper. “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.”
Rudy’s defense attorney did not immediately return PEOPLE’s call for comment, but told the Star-Telegram that the plea agreement was the “correct resolution” to the case.
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