Rachel Scott's accused killer arraigned

SHIAWASSEE COUNTY Laurencio Rodriguez, 33, was charged with murder during the short hearing.

In July 2000, the parents of Rachel Scott reported the 20 year old missing after she didn't come home after visiting friends. Her body was discovered more than two weeks later in a Vernon Township field.

Her family was in court for the video arraignment, watching and listening as Rodriguez was charged with the murder.

"It has been a very emotional 48 hours for us, but we have waited 11 years. Today is a great day. It begins the process of justice for our daughter, Rachel," Scott's father, Ken, said.

After the arraignment, Ken Scott read a prepared statement. "Tragedy never ended for us. It dominated our daily thoughts and our lives. In a way, today has a very liberating feeling, as if we were being let out of prison, as her murderer is being imprisoned."

The prosecutor wouldn't say what led investigators to Rodriguez, who was already in prison when he was charged with the Scott murder. He did say Rodriguez and the victim knew each other and Rodriguez lived in Owosso at the time of Scott's murder.

Rodriguez is due to appear in court again April 25.

For many in the close-knit communities of Vernon and Corunna, word of the charges against Laurencio Rodriguez brings some closure.

Many who attended Tuesday night's three-hour candlelight vigil hope if this is the person responsible for Rachel Scott's death that justice will be served.

After 11 years Betty Rainwater wondered who took the life of her neighbor, 20-year-old Rachel Scott of Vernon.

Hours after Rodriguez was charged in Rachel's murder, many from the community, including Rachel's former classmates, gathered under the glow of candles to honor her life.

No one knows why Rachel was killed, and few can comprehend the murder. But they hope this is the final chapter in a case that has been on the minds of many for the past 11 years.

Relatives of Rachel Scott were on hand Tuesday night.

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