Family, friends remember ex-wife and teen mother killed by Elias Huizar in West Richland

We're learning more about the two people who were killed after police say Elias Huizar, an ex-cop living in West Richland, went on a murderous crime spree and kidnapped his own son.

The manhunt ended in Huizar's death after investigators say he shot himself in Oregon.

Police say Huizar's one-year-old son, who he'd taken with him when he fled Washington, was not injured during the shooting near Eugene, Oregon. The child was ushered to safety by law enforcement at the scene.

Another victim was the teen mother of Huizar's one-year-old son, who police say he kidnapped before fleeing to Oregon. Police say her cause of death is pending.

The teen would have been around 16 at the time she gave birth to Huizar's one-year-old child. Police said on Wednesday that she had also been identified as a victim of third-degree rape.

Her family says her nickname was "Jelly." They posted in an online fundraiser for her saying, she "lost her life at the young age of 17-years-old, leaving behind her son, her brother Damien, mother Tiffany, and grandparents Ann and Robert."

Her Aunt, Samantha Deluna, went on to say she was a "beautiful niece" and asked for prayers and support for the family.

West Richland Police Chief Thomas Greggo said during a press conference there is also a separate case involving a second-degree rape victim related to the investigation.

During the crime spree, Huizar is also accused of killing his ex-wife, 31-year-old Amber Marie Rodriguez, outside William Wiley Elementary School, where she worked as a paraeducator, in front of their nine-year-old son.

Dr. Shelley Redinger, Superintendent of Richland School District, spoke about Rodriguez this morning.

"The past few days have been incredibly tough for our staff, students, families and the entire Tri-Cities community," said Redinger. "Our district has suffered a profound loss in the passing of Amber Rodriguez, a remarkable paraeducator at William Wiley Elementary, where she has worked since September 2022."

Redinger said that the primary focus of the district is to provide support to students and staff in the schools with special attention to Wylie Elementary. The district said the children returned to school today.

"We understand the support needed may vary across the Richland school District. And we are committed to being responsive to the needs of all our students and staff," said Redinger.

Rodriguez's family said she was a "loving, devoted and fiercely protective mother of her children, 9 and 6 years old."

They say the nine-year-old, "was a witness to his mother's murder and will need extensive support going forward."

An online post for the family's fundraiser read that the six-year-old feels the loss deeply and is also in need of support and resources. The post stated that the children have a "loving maternal family who will raise them to know just how much they are loved."


Who is Elias Huizar? Former Yakima cop accused of child rape, killing 2 and abducting child

Former Yakima officer accused of killing 2, kidnapping child

AMBER Alert canceled: Washington 1-year-old found safe after pursuit in Oregon

To get the best local news, weather and sports in Seattle for free, sign up for the daily FOX 13 Seattle newsletter.

"My heart remains heavy for tragic circumstances that have occurred, and for the impact it has had, and will have, in the community," said Greggo. "Our investigation into this matter continues. I hope that the conclusion of this manhunt will serve as a catalyst for healing among all those impacted by this dreadful event."