Tip Leads To Capture Of Accused Child Abuser, One of Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitives; Severely Beat Infant


LEE COUNTY, FL – After more than seven months on the run, one of Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers 10 Most Wanted fugitives is finally in custody on charges of aggravated child abuse. Jeremy Rodriguez, 37, was taken into custody late last night in Harlingen, Texas by US Marshals, where he had been hiding out with his brother.

Rodriguez had been on the run since July 2020 with a bench warrant for child cruelty, and then a subsequent warrant issued in October 2020 for aggravated child abuse. Rodriguez is accused of severely beating a three month old baby, causing skull fractures and other injuries. Witnesses said they saw Rodriguez hitting the child with a closed fist, sticking his fingernails into the baby’s neck, as well as throwing heavy toys at the infant. 

A Crime Stoppers tip was recently received, indicating that Rodriguez had fled the state and was hiding out with family in Texas. Members of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office’s Fugitive Warrants Unit, in conjunction with the US Marshals Fugitive Warrants Task Force, worked in tandem with authorities in Texas over the last few days, and were able to bring Rodriguez into custody late Monday night. He will be extradited back to Lee County in the near future. 

Rodriguez is a multi-time offender, with previous arrests for the sale and delivery of cocaine, aggravated battery on a pregnant victim, domestic violence by strangulation and a sexual offense on a victim between the ages of 12 and 15. Upon his return to Lee County, Rodriguez will be held without bond. 

“Jeremy Rodriguez’s arrest is proof that even though time may pass, we are always seeking out these fugitives,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. “We are thankful for every tip we received in this case, but particularly for the one tipster who did the right thing and helped ensure that Rodriguez cannot hurt anyone again.”

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