A Fort Worth man must serve life in prison for the 2016 drowning of his estranged wife whose body was found in Lake Worth with a 119-pound hunk of concrete tied to her neck.
Prosecutors in Fort Worth say Rodolfo “Rudy” Arellano pleaded guilty Wednesday to capital murder in a plea deal for life behind bars without chance of parole. The 36-year-old husband could have faced the death penalty if convicted at trial.
The body of 28-year-old Elizabeth Arellano was discovered in April 2016 in Lake Worth after police say witnesses reported hearing screams and seeing someone fall from a bridge.
Fort Worth police believed she was still alive when she was thrown from the Lake Worth bridge.
Authorities say a rope, still tied to the woman’s neck, was connected to concrete encased as part of a wood fence. Similar pieces were found in her husband’s truck.
Police say Rodolfo Arellano took Elizabeth Arellano to the Interstate 820 bridge over Lake Worth and threw her over.
Fort Worth police said the couple had four children. Elizabeth Arellano worked as a medical assistant at a North Richland Hills ENT office, family members said in 2016.
She’d been together with Rodolfo Arellano for 12 years. The two were separated and Elizabeth Arellano had moved out of their house about a week before her death, family said at the time.
Family members say she was celebrating happy hour that night with a group of girlfriends, shortly before police say Rodolfo Arellano kidnapped her.
“She was a lovely, lovely mother. I want to say a lovely daughter too; she was basically my daughter. She had the ultimate respect for me, as I did for her,” said her stepfather Fidel Galvan in 2016.
SOURCE: AP / NBC 5