Pilar Rodriguez at age 4.
Pilar Rodriguez, 4, has been missing since 1999 from Punta Gorda, a small oceanside town in southwest Florida.
Just last week, Lake Stevens mom, Melissa Harding-Jones, was arrested in connection to the disappearance and death of Rodriguez.
Harding-Jones, who was then known by the name of Melissa Cooper, before she married and changed her name, had taken Rodriguez on a trip. At the time Harding-Jones was babysitting the girl.
Rodriguez’s father reported the girl missing after he was unable to contact Cooper.
Authorities searched extensively for the child but were never able to find her body.
Cold case detectives were led to Lake Stevens where Snohomish County Sheriffs, FBI agents and Florida Detectives took Harding-Jones into custody on Monday, August 23.
Harding-Jones was booked into jail and charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child.
She is now awaiting extradition to Florida, which she has declined.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will have to file a demand with Governor Christine Gregoire in order to extradite Harding-Jones.
According to reports, Harding-Jones told investigators that her then boyfriend, Keith Wilson, beat Rodriguez and buried her. Wilson has denied involvement in the case.
If anyone has information regarding this case, please contact the Florida cold case detectives at 941-575-5361.