Regina Krieger Murder: Where Are Gilberto Rodriguez and Cody Thompson Now?

Investigation Discovery’s ‘On The Case With Paula Zahn: Changing Stories’ follows the brutal murder of 14-year-old Regina Krieger in Cassia County, Idaho, in February 1995. The case went cold for over two decades but the determination of the victim’s mother and the testimonies of a number of witnesses finally led to the catching of the killer. If you want to know more about the case, including the identity and current whereabouts of the perpetrator, we’ve you covered. Let’s begin then, shall we?

How Did Regina Krieger Die?

Regina Lee Krieger was born on March 3, 1980, in Cassia County, Idaho, to Dan Krieger and Rhonda Hunnel. Her parents described her as a sweet and intelligent girl who made friends easily and was quite good at her studies. Hence, it came as a shock when her father could not find her at their home on Oriental Avenue in Burley and reported her missing to Cassia County Sheriff’s office on February 28, 1995. It was less than a week before Regina’s 15th birthday.

Image Credit: Dawn Elizabeth Wilcox/Find A Grave

The detectives came over to find blood on the bathroom floor and also up the stairs that led to the backyard of the Krieger home. The blood trail indicated that something had been dragged up the stairs. They questioned Dan to understand that he had last seen his daughter before she had gone to bed. Suspecting foul play, the officers mounted a search for Regina but with no luck, as she remained missing for over a month. On April 15, 1995, a group of horseback riders found her badly decomposed body on the banks of the Snake River, not far downstream from the Minidoka Dam.

Investigators had to take the help of a forensic dentist to determine the body belonged to Regina with the help of her dental records. The autopsy report stated that she had multiple fatal stab wounds on her body, but the most probable cause of death was determined to be air embolism after the perpetrator had slit her throat from ear to ear. The medical examiner also located a deep penetrating wound to Regina’s heart but concluded it was inflicted after her death.

Who Killed Regina Krieger?

The investigators looked at a few suspects, but their investigation went cold when no major evidence or leads came their way. The case remained cold for nearly 24 years, but Regina’s mother, Rhonda, refused to give up. She even enlisted the help of the FBI and kept working on the case until Cassia County Sheriff’s office announced they had charged Gilberto Flores Rodriguez in the murder of Regina in February 2019. At the time, it was announced that the arrest was made following the testimony of 3 witnesses who had come up linking the then 56-year-old to the brutal murder of the teen.

Gilberto Flores Rodriguez

Gilberto went to trial in April 2019 when the identities of two of the witnesses were disclosed to the public and the jury. The primary witness was a convict named Cody Thompson, who had claimed to be present when Gilberto murdered Regina on the night of February 1995. Cody claimed that Gilberto was ill that night and had gone over to defecate on the property of the Kriegers, scaling the wall, while he was waiting in a car in the alley for Gilberto to come out of Regina’s home. 

According to Cody, then 16, he saw Gilberto come out all bloody, saying he had “messed up,” and drove the car to the front of the residence. He went back inside and allegedly came out with a body wrapped in a blanket, which Cody helped put in the back of the vehicle. From there, they had allegedly driven to a mutual acquaintance’s house for a clean-up and change of clothes before driving to Jackson Bridge, presently defunct, which connected Cassia and Minidoka counties, to dump the body into the Snake River.

Cody also claimed he had asked Gilberto multiple times to drop him off somewhere, but he refused. The witness further contended that he returned to his home in Rupert that night, but his guilty conscience never left him; he said he used to scream in his sleep. According to Cody, he came to know the victim’s identity when he saw Regina’s missing person flyer at a gas station and claimed he used to be her classmate at school. Another witness claimed that she had seen Gilberto and Cody come all bloody to a party on the night of the murder and saw them bury the murder weapon in the box on the property.

The third witness was Carlos Tena, who claimed to have known Gilberto, a distant relative of his, for 30 years as both used to deal with illegal drugs and firearms for a Mexican cartel. Carlos claimed that Gilberto allegedly mentioned Regina to him multiple times, citing how unfortunate it was for her “to be disposed of that way” and how “the feds were poking at him again.”

Where is Gilberto Rodriguez Today?

Gilberto Rodriguez’s defense counsel tried to dismiss the witnesses by citing their criminal records and raising doubts about their credibility but to no avail. A jury convicted Gilberto of first-degree murder in June 2021, and he was sentenced to life in prison. As per official records, the 60-year-old is serving his sentence at the Idaho State Correctional Institution Unit 11.

Where is Cody Thompson Today?

Cody Thompson was already serving a life sentence for being convicted of charges of male rape in Ada County in Idaho. He had a long list of prior convictions that involved two counts of burglary, one count each of grand theft, and witness intimidation, among others, all committed in Minidoka County. He claimed that he constantly fears the life of his family and has been bearing the burden of the crime for over two decades.

Cody Thompson

When grilled by the defense counsel, Cody claimed that he had no incentive to lie and was further implicating himself while already serving a life sentence. As per official court records, the 44-year-old is presently incarcerated in a prison cell at the Idaho State Correctional Center B Block in Boise, Idaho. 

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