The Unsettling Reality Concerning the ‘Largely Innocent’ Hiker
Based on Godso, Rodriguez didn’t graduate. However folks with pc abilities often don’t have a tough time discovering a job. Ultimately, he began work at an ecommerce firm based mostly in Baton Rouge known as Customers Alternative, the place he was acknowledged by many as probably the most gifted engineer on the group. The corporate’s codebase continues to be stuffed with notations of “VR,” for code that Rodriguez wrote. Marie, who works in IT, instructed me, “He was a loopy good coder. Besides he would at all times code all the things the toughest means doable, type of such as you employed Rembrandt to color your lavatory. You understand it’ll be lit, however excessive.”
He wasn’t significantly collaborative, however he would sit down, placed on his headphones—listening to Temple of the Canine and Rage Towards the Machine—and remedy issues. As the issues bought extra advanced, he bought extra comfy. He was quiet however not, to his coworkers, perversely so. “When you’re asking me if he’s the man who exhibits up on the occasion in a clown go well with blasting issues out of a cannon, that’s not him,” says a former colleague named Corey Tisdale. “However he would go to vacation events and never look depressing.”
He ate as soon as a day, typically pizza from Walmart or lasagna from Pasta Kitchen. He wore black denims, a black shirt, and a black trench coat. He had lengthy, darkish hair nearly all the way down to his waist. Someday he lower all of it off and gave it to Locks of Love. He attended Dragon Con. He appeared to undergo from some psychological well being points, however, in accordance with Marie, he refused typical medication. “He self-medicated with ingesting and chocolate,” she says. He would go on what Marie and different associates known as “outages,” the place he lay motionless for days, refusing meals and all human contact. However finally he would snap out of it. “He wore his disappointment like an additional layer of pores and skin,” Marie recollects. However, she provides, “I actually dug his imperfectly excellent solitary singular self.”
Throughout this time in Baton Rouge Rodriguez began a relationship that will final for 5 years. However it ended fairly badly. When it was over, the lady he had dated wrote on her Fb web page, “House 950 a month / payments 300 a month / Standing as much as the monster that beat you up emotionally and bodily for five years? Priceless.” After Rodriguez was recognized because the hiker, the lady’s mom commented on Fb, “This man was so abusive to my daughter, he modified her.”
His colleagues from that point, studying of his story now, appeared saddened. However not totally shocked. “He was at all times very introverted, saved to himself. His jokes had been often obscure,” says a colleague named Keith Mother or father. “None of that is stunning, apart from the truth that, ultimately, he died.”
“I seemed for Vance in mid-2017 to rent him to construct an app for a consumer of mine,” says one other coworker from Customers Alternative named David Blazier. “And I might have paid him actually something he requested. I by no means discovered him.”
In 2013, Rodriguez moved to New York Metropolis. He’d met a lady, whom I’ll name Ok, in a web-based chat room. Ok, who requested for anonymity due to the general public obsession concerning the hiker, was then ending faculty in upstate New York. They traveled forwards and backwards to go to one another. As their relationship developed, they determined to each transfer to New York Metropolis and reside collectively. She was going into vogue and needed to be there. He had spent his life in Louisiana and welcomed the change. He’d by no means seen snow earlier than. At first, he was romantic and candy. However quickly he began to clam up and shut her out. “If one thing upset him, he would cease speaking to me fully. Which will be lonely whenever you share a 500-square-foot house,” she says.