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Aug 20, 2018

Murder in Independence: Husband Chokes Wife to Death

Mariela Alpuche Rodriguez

A woman was killed by her husband in the early hours of this morning inside a hotel room where they were vacationing.  Mariela Alpuche Rodriguez was choked to death in Independence Village at the hands of Arturo Rodriguez. According to Mariela’s family, her husband was insanely jealous and she was frustrated in the marriage, but didn’t want to separate for the sake of keeping her family together since the couple shared two daughters.  The family says that they never expected that the jealousy would result in Mariela’s murder.  Rodriguez was immediately detained and has since been charged with his wife’s murder. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

A family vacation turned deadly when forty-eight-year-old Arturo Rodriguez choked his wife, thirty-four-year-old Mariela Rodriguez, to death inside a room at the Panting Hotel in Independence Village around two this morning. Reports are that Arturo and Mariela, both residents of Trial Farm in Orange Walk, were out socializing in the village on Sunday night. When they went back to the hotel, there was a quarrel and it ended in Mariela’s murder. Police responded to the incident.


Joseph Myvett

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“Mariela along with her common-law-husband was staying at a hotel room in Independence when apparently a domestic dispute ensued, resulting in Mr. Rodriguez choking Mariela which resulted in her death. She was rushed to the Independence Polyclinic by other family members who attempted to revive her but she ended up passing away.”


Sources say that Arturo became enraged on Sunday night while they were hanging out in public. The source of his anger stemmed from jealousy when he became furious that people were “looking at his wife.” And by the time they retired for the night in the hotel – Arturo was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and got into fight with her and strangled her to death. Mariela’s aunt recounts that her niece was never happy in her marriage but remained with her husband because the couple shared two girls. But her aunt, Emma Castillo, never imagined her niece would die at the hands of her husband.


Voice of: Emma Castillo, Aunt of Deceased

“She used to comment sometimes, Auntie, I am sad. I am not happy none at all. I want to walk away from this relationship and I used to tell her that it would best if you would do that. But she will tell me back that she wants her daughters to have a family. And I really didn’t expect this.”


But from looking at Mariela’s presence online – many didn’t see an unhappy marriage. She shared a lot of pictures with her husband – always smiling and with captions that spoke of her cheery life.  They seemed truly happy with each other. But nothing could be further from the truth.


Arturo Rodriguez

Voice of: Emma Castillo

“I know that he was getting more jealous because at a point of time when we used to spend time together he was very friendly but sometimes he would just be to himself. And she would say don’t give him anymore to drink because he would get out of hand.”


And then there is this video – where they lovingly laughed, talked and showed affection for each other as they celebrated Mariela’s last birthday. One wouldn’t think that the couple had problems that would escalate to murder because according to Emma Castillo, she never saw or heard of any physical violence before this.  Arturo was extremely jealous and possessive – and it only worsened when he was under the influence of alcohol.


Voice of: Emma Castillo

“He never allowed her to be by herself. Every time if he goes here, she will go. He does furniture and she would go with him and help him. She works very hard with him.”



“So, he never leaves her alone?”


Voice of: Emma Castillo

“Never. Never. She would never be alone. Every time they go to trips, it would he, she and their kids. But that jealousy in him, I can’t understand.”


Arturo, Mariela, their two girls, and Mariela’s parents and nephews were spending a few days in Independence Village as a vacation getaway before school re-opens for the kids. They had rented three rooms here at this hotel and when Arturo choked his wife to death, he went next door to alert her parents. He was detained when police arrived on the scene. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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