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Sixteen years later, Tucson homicide case gets national attention

Posted at 10:19 PM, Sep 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-02 13:36:25-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) -- Sixteen years after 19-year-old Ruben Rodriguez was shot and killed at a Tucson party, the investigation into his death is getting national attention.

This weekend the case will be featured on "The Hunt With John Walsh" on CNN.

Rodriguez was killed on the westside in April of 2000 after a verbal altercation.

The suspect in the case is identified as Anthony S. Burroughs. He reportedly fled to Mexico, and was last seen in the Philippines. Burroughs is of Filipino descent.

On Friday the U.S. Marshals Service announced that Burroughs will be added to the it's top 15 Most Wanted List. Federal authorities believe he is a threat to the public, and a $25,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to Burroughs' arrest.

"Burroughs' senseless crime and disregard for the law have made us more determined to bring him to Justice. The U.S. Marshals, along with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners will not rest until he is apprehended and held to account," said U.S. Marshals Service Deputy Director David Harlow. "The family of the victim deserves justice, and the public at large will be safer when this dangerous fugitive answers for his alleged crime."

Rodriguez's mother, Sandra Medina, still lives in Tucson. For fourteen years she felt like his death had been forgotten about, and his case was pushed aside.

A few years ago Medina says an investigator with the U.S. Marshals Service reached out to her, and she was hopeful her son's killer would be found.

"When Jennifer came into my life two years ago, I mean, I thought it was a blessing that somebody did care about Ruben," Medina said. "Finally somebody did come to me and said, 'hey, we're going to help you. We're going to find the guy that killed your son.'"

When Rodriguez died, he left behind three children. His daughter was killed in 2014, Medina said, which made things even more difficult for her family. Medina says her son was a proud father, and was working at jewelry store when he died.

"He was a salesperson, real good at the job," Medina said. "He sold me."

It can be difficult to bring up the past, Medina said, but she's still hoping that the man who killed her son will be caught and held responsible. 

In a press release sent Friday, Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said the department will not rest in the pursuit of justice.

"The faces of our agency may change over time, but our determination to see Anthony Burroughs held accountable for his actions is unwavering," Magnus said. "We are thankful for the continued support of our federal partners in this ongoing effort to bring closure to this case and stand ready to assist in any way possible."

Burroughs is now 37 years old. He has several tattoos including the name "Adriana" on his chest, "Burroughs" on his back, "Hate" on his left arm, and "Love" on his right arm.

Federal investigators believe he may be working as a tattoo artist, and he has an interest in cars.

If you have any information regarding this crime, call 1-800-336-0102.