Man convicted in 1979 murder of estranged wife

Oct 24, 2014

A South Buffalo man has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of his estranged wife 35 years ago.

An Erie County Court jury returned the verdict late Friday afternoon after deliberating for around three hours.

Michael Rodriguez, 60, was indicted nearly a year ago in connection with the death of Patricia Rodriguez, who was then 21 years old, in April 1979. Her body was found with more than 100 stab wounds on Good Friday of that year in Holy Cross Cemetery in Lackawanna.

The case had gone unsolved until Lackawanna police requested the state police reopen the investigation five years ago. Witnesses were re-interviewed and forensic analysis not available in 1979 was used to link Rodriguez to his wife's body.

Sentencing will take place November 21. Rodriguez faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.