Investigation Discovery’s ‘See No Evil: A Crash, Not an Accident’ follows how 51-year-old Jorge Rodriguez was murdered in cold blood in Pasco, Washington, on the Fourth of July 2017. The investigators relied on dozens of hours of CCTV footage and an anonymous tip to arrest the perpetrator within a few days. The episode features the victim’s daughters and detectives involved in the probe to paint a concise picture of the chain of events. If you’re interested in knowing more about the case, here’s what we know.
How Did Jorge Rodriguez Die?
51-year-old Jorge Rodriguez was planning Independence Day celebrations with his daughter, Darlin Molina, in Pasco in Franklin County, Washington, on July 4, 2017. A father of three girls — Darlin, Kimberly, and Karen Molina — he had a contagious smile and loved his family. A teary-eyed Kimberly recalled how their father was always there for them and attended to all their needs.
On 2017 Fourth of July, Darlin did not feel like watching the fireworks as she was pregnant, and Jorge was on cloud nine to have a grandchild. She recounted on the show how her father had gone out to get groceries from the nearby Fiesta Foods. However, he never returned home, and Darlin got a call from the Pasco police a little before 11:00 PM about how he had been shot twice.
The distressed daughter sped to the scene to find her father holding his face and waving his hand for her to calm down before being whisked away in an ambulance. He was initially taken to a Tri-City hospital at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. Soon, Jorge was moved to hospice care in Kennewick but failed to recover from the severe brain damage and died 25 days later. He remained in an induced coma and never woke up, only to be declared dead on July 29, 2017.
Who Killed Jorge Rodriguez?
The Pasco Police Department received a 911 call at around 10:34 PM about an injured man running around and trying to stop traffic on Lewis Street. According to the caller, they thought he might have cut himself or something and was asking for help. Sergeant Chad Pettijohn of the Pasco Police Department explained how law enforcement officials are always prepared for such distress calls on the Fourth of July since there are always some fireworks-related accidents.
When the officers reached the spot, they understood it was not fireworks. Jorge was standing on the pavement with his hands clutching the side of his face. Judging by his injury, the first respondents were sure he had been shot. After the medics rushed the critically injured man to a nearby hospital, the police began questioning the witnesses. One of the individuals pointed him towards the east and claimed Jorge had told him he had crashed his car there.
The officers followed the direction and found a blood trail left behind by a bleeding Jorge. They followed it to discover the victim’s Cadillac Escalade crashed into another car in a parking lot behind the Los Pinos restaurant. The black-colored vehicle had driven through a fence and crashed into the other parked automobile. The detectives looked around to find a surveillance camera that gave them a better understanding of the perplexing event.
The police checked in with the Los Pinos management to view the footage and saw Jorge’s Cadillac Escalade speeding erratically as it crashed into the fence. The restaurant also had another camera angle of the parking lot, and the police saw gunshots inside the car just before it collided. In addition, the surveillance footage showed Jorge stumbling out of his vehicle and rushing to the road to seek assistance while the alleged perpetrator fled the scene. However, the camera could not provide a clear view of the shooter.
The investigators tried to understand the path the perpetrator took by checking the surveillance footage of all CCTVs installed along his escape route. They saw the shooter walking toward the parking lot just before the firing at a private residence’s camera. Other local businesses had cameras that caught the guy strolling around and even attempting to steal a car. Though none of the videos provided a clear picture of the person, the officers were sure this was a carjacking gone wrong.
The officers checked Jorge’s crashed Cadillac to find some .32-caliber shell casings and a few grocery bags from Fiesta Foods. They decided to check the in-house surveillance footage of the convenience store to check whether the father of three was being followed from there only. The detectives saw him buying his groceries, paying for the items with a large dollar bill, and exchanging pleasantries with the cashier as he counted his change. In the meantime, one of the investigators spotted a man aimlessly strolling a few meters from the counter.
The individual caught the police’s attention because he was seen wearing the same color clothes as the alleged shooter in other surveillance footage. While Fiesta Foods provided clear video footage, the overhead position of the camera meant the officers could not see the suspect’s face. Still, they could make out the Dallas Cowboys’ emblem drawn on his tee. As the law enforcement officials were getting frustrated, they received an anonymous tip that provided them with a much-needed breakthrough.
The tip provided the name of the then 17-year-old suspect — Pedro Cadenas, along with an important detail — he used a .32-caliber weapon. The police had not released this information in the public domain, and they arrested the teenager from his girlfriend’s Sunnyside residence without any incident. Yet, Pedro refused to cooperate with the authorities and invoked his Miranda rights. As the officers raced against the stipulated 24 hours of charging him or letting him go, they had a confidential informant who claimed the 17-year-old confessed about the shooting to him.
Where is Pedro Cadenas Now?
The informant stated Pedro went to a holiday barbeque after the shooting, wearing his bloody clothes, and admitted he shot someone. With all the surveillance footage and the informant’s testimony, the police had enough evidence to charge the teenager with first-degree murder, unlawful possession of a firearm in the second-degree, and attempted theft of a motor vehicle with firearm enhancements on the first-degree murder charge. A jury found Pedro guilty of all charges in November 2018, and he was sentenced to 36 years and two months in prison in 2019. The 23-year-old is serving his sentence at the Stafford Creek Corrections Center.