Murder charges dropped against accused murderer in 2004

Dee DeQuattro

The Attorney General's Office said that first degree murder charges were dropped against Daniel Rodriguez, 28, in 2004 because authorities were unable to locate two witnesses.

Rodriguez is now charged with murdering his girlfriend and her daughter then abducting a two-year-old child.

Police say Rodriguez shot and killed 25-year-old Vanessa Perez and his girlfriend 40-year-old Evelyn Burgos at their home on Oaktree Drive in Johnston early Sunday morning. Then he took 2-year-old Isaiah Perez, sparking a nationwide Amber Alert.

In 2004 Rodriguez was charged with the first degree murder of Tyrone Tate. Rodriguez was indicted by a Grand Jury but the charges were later dropped after authorities could not locate two witnesses.

According to the Attorney General's office the two witnesses were the only evidence linking Rodriguez to the crime. The Attorney General's Office and Police attempted to locate the witnesses for weeks by knocking on doors and asking around the community. On the day of trial when the witnesses did not appear the Attorney General's office had to drop the charges.