Robert Rhoades, who worked as a barber, killed 8-year-old Michael Lyons in 1996 after hours of torture and rape. Rhoades kidnapped the Yuba City child as he walked home from his elementary school, where he was in third grade. The victim’s body was found the next day in brush along the Feather River. Rhoades was arrested after he was found trying to dig his truck from mud about a half mile from the scene.
That wasn’t his only victim. DNA later linked Rhoades to the 1984 kidnap, rape and murder of 18-year-old Julie Connell, a straight A student, in Alameda County. That discovery took place after Rhoades was sent to Death Row in 1999 for the murder of Michael Lyons. Rhoades also kidnapped and tortured a woman in Yuba County in 1985, who managed to escape his car.