BURLEY — At least three witnesses have come forward linking a 56-year-old Burley man to the violent killing of a teenage girl 24 years ago, according to court documents obtained by EastIdahoNews.com.
None of the witnesses are named in the documents but their cooperation with investigators led to the arrest of Gilberto Flores Rodriguez Wednesday.
Rodriguez could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder for the death of 14-year-old Regina Krieger.
On Feb. 28, 1995, Dan Krieger, Regina’s dad, called 911 to report his daughter was missing. She was last seen by her father at their home on Oriental Avenue in Burley before she went to bed.
“Dan said there was blood on the bathroom floor, and it looked like something had been dragged up the stairs. There was blood going up the stairs that led to the backyard of the residence,” according to court documents.
On April 15, 1995, Regina’s body was found downstream from the Minidoka Dam on the Snake River. An autopsy showed her neck was slit and she was stabbed in the heart.
At some point after Regina was killed, a witness told investigators he was with Rodriguez the night the girl died. The witness said Rodriguez went into the teenager’s house and came back out 20 to 30 minutes later.
“Rodriguez went back in and came out dragging something wrapped in a sheet or blanket,” according to the first witness.
The witness told investigators he didn’t know what was in the blanket but Rodriguez placed it into the trunk of a car. The witness and Rodriguez drove to a bridge near the Minidoka Dam and threw the body, still covered, over the bridge. The first witness said he later learned it was Regina’s body.
Rodriguez repeatedly said he had “messed up” as they were driving, the first witness said.
A second witness said she was at a party when Rodriguez and the first witness showed up upset and covered in blood. The first witness said to the second witness they had just killed Regina. The second witness said she saw both Rodriguez and the first witness place a knife in a box and bury it on the property, according to court documents.
It’s unclear where the knife was buried and if it has ever been found.
Approximately a year after Regina vanished, a third confidential witness came forward and said Rodriguez described to him kicking and struggling with Regina. The witness told investigators Rodriguez said it wasn’t the first time he committed murder, according to court documents.
Two years later, the third witness said Rodriguez told him “he would never forget La Gina (referring to Regina),” according to court documents.
This third witness was told by someone, not mentioned in court documents, that in 2016, Rodriguez told a woman he “would make her disappear” as he had done to Regina. In 2017, Rodriguez allegedly told the second witness that police were still “not backing off” but would not get him “because you know how we do things.”
The motive for the killing is unknown, and court documents do not reveal when the witnesses came forward.
Rodriguez was booked into the Cassia County Jail Wednesday without bail. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 1.