Grant County Sheriff details savage murder

Grant County Sheriff details savage murder

Grant County Sheriff’s detectives called it one of the most savage murders they’ve ever investigated.

Jill Sundberg, the mother of four children, kidnapped by five men who were living here in the United States illegally.

Sundberg’s body was found off the Old Vantage Highway in December. She and the suspects all lived at the Shady Tree trailer park near George.

The killer did little to cover his tracks, even leaving behind a message for detectives at the crime scene.

December 22, a hiker in Frenchman Coulee discovered a young woman’s body in an area known for its rock climbing. Despite the fact that it’s a well traveled location, no effort is made to conceal her remains.

“Our folks respond down there, and through autopsy, she was identified as Jill Sondberg,” said Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones.

That led sheriff’s detectives back to the Shady Tree RV Park where Sundberg had been living in a trailer.

Investigators interviewed neighbors and tracked down that last people Sundberg was seen with before she disappeared.

“Through excellent detective work, they were able to come up with five persons of interest,” said Jones.

Several of the men all told the same story: They were partying with the victim at the RV park, when Gustavo Tapia Rodriguez lost his temper with Sundberg, forced her into an SUV and kidnapped her.

“Five individuals, plus Jill, all in one vehicle drove her specifically down the Old Vantage Highway, and I’ll call it like I see it, they executed her,” said Jones.

The group of men then went and bought beer at a convenience store, but not before leaving behind something behind at the murder scene that would shock even seasoned detectives.

“They they added one more salt to the wound, so to speak, and they put a note on her back and put a knife in her back,” said Jones. “I won’t say what the note said, but it sounds like it was a disrespectful thing and just absolutely gruesome.”

While it’s true the defendant was an illegal alien at the time of the murder, the sheriff doesn’t see a connection between the killing and Tapia Rodriguez’s immigration status. However, if the defendant is convicted of this homicide, he won’t be deported again, he’ll remain here in the U.S. to serve what will be a very long prison sentence.