Authorities have searched the Stafford County home of a man accused of killing his wife earlier this month following a Marine Corps event in Arlington County earlier this month, court records show.

Rodolfo Rivera Valencia, 24, is charged with murder in connection with the Nov. 3 death of his wife, 20-year-old Natasha Soto Rivera. The couple lived on Madison Court in North Stafford with their infant child and were members of the Marine Corps stationed at Quantico, according to court records.

Natasha Rivera was found dead the morning of Nov. 3 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, where they had attended a ball commemorating the Marine Corps’ 243rd birthday.

According to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in Stafford Circuit Court, the Arlington emergency communications center received a call from Rivera Valencia at 10:13 a.m. He told the dispatcher that his wife was unconscious and he believed he had killed her, the affidavit states.

Arlington Detective Jasmine Sean wrote that Natasha Rivera had injuries to her neck consistent with strangulation and bruising to her arms and face indicative of a “brutal” beating. She was already dead when police and medical personnel arrived at the motel.

Sean wrote that Rivera Valencia said that he drank to the point of “blacking out” following the Marine Corps dinner and ceremonies and had no memory of what had happened the night before. He said he woke up that morning with his dead wife beside him and did not render medical aid or immediately call 911.

Rivera Valencia also mentioned having an anger problem and said he and his wife of seven or eight months were the only ones in the hotel room.

Among the items seized from the couple’s Stafford home were an iPhone and a laptop computer. Rivera Valencia is being held in the Arlington County Detention Center under no bond.

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Keith Epps: 540/374-5404 kepps@freelancestar.com

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