Murder of Luis Luevanos by Santos Rodriguez Jr. spotlighted on Murder Loves Company

Luis Luevanos photo
Santos Rodriguez Jr. murdered his 84-year-old grandfather in his bedroom and tried to cover it up by setting their home on fire. Pic credit: Sioux County Sheriff’s Office

Murder Loves Company on Investigation Discovery details the case of Luis Luevanos, who was murdered by his 18-year-old grandson, Santos Rodriguez Jr.

At approximately 2:30 am on October 29, 2017, firefighters were dispatched to a home at 1416 15th Street in Rock Valley, Iowa, after receiving a call about a house fire. A relative stated that they woke up to the smell of smoke and rushed out of the house through the back door, not realizing that Luevanos, 84, was still in his bedroom.

Family members, police officers, and firefighters were unable to save Luevanos from the fire as there was too much smoke.

After extinguishing the fire, Luevanos’ body was removed and sent to the state’s medical examiner’s office for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Police classified the fire as an accident, possibly caused by a lit cigarette or wire, but that changed to homicide when the autopsy results indicated that Luevanos was stabbed three times before he died.

The medical examiner determined that Luevanos was stabbed twice in the torso and once in the face — he was still alive when the fire broke out.

An investigation led to Rodriguez’s arrest. He was initially charged with arson and first-degree murder, but when he admitted to police that he murdered his grandfather and set the house on fire before fleeing to Utah, his murder charge was reduced to second-degree murder.

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Rodriguez told police that he fatally stabbed his grandfather while he was asleep because he was tired of being bullied by him. He also confessed to killing the family’s dog a couple of days before the murder because it was barking too much.

After pleading guilty at the Sioux County District Court, Rodriguez was sentenced to 75 years in prison.

He will be eligible for parole or work release after serving 35 years.

Murder Loves Company — Family Lies, airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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