Grandson arrested in Rock Valley arson death

On October 29, 2017, at approximately 02:24 a.m., the Rock Valley Fire Department responded to a report of a house fire that occurred at 1416 15th St. in Rock Valley, IA.

Upon arriving at the address, responders discovered a portion of the house was fully engulfed by fire and were told there was someone still inside.  Firefighters gained entry to the residence, extinguished the fire and discovered a deceased male inside.

Luis Luevanos, age 84, of Rock Valley was identified as the deceased male in the residence.

As a result of the death connected to the fire, an investigation was initiated by the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Rock Valley Police Department in consultation with the Sioux County Attorney.   The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) was also contacted and special agents were brought in to assist in the investigation. 

The investigation revealed that the deceased, Luis Luevenos, suffered multiple stab wounds to the body prior to the fire.

Investigators learned that Santos Rodriguez Jr., age 19, a grandson of Luis Luevenos, who also resided in the same home had travelled to Utah after the fire.  DCI Agents traveled to Utah and conducted an interview of Santos Rodriguez Jr.  Santos Rodriguez Jr. made admissions to stabbing his grandfather and intentionally setting the fire afterwards. 

Santos Rodriguez Jr. was arrested November 8, 2017, in Utah on warrants stemming from charges issued by the Rock Valley Police Department.  Santos Rodriguez Jr. was charged with Murder in the First Degree, a class A felony, and Arson in the First Degree, a class B felony.  Santos Rodriguez Jr. is currently in custody in Utah and awaiting extradition back to Iowa with bond set at $1,000,000.

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