Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Deborah Flores-Narvaez: Death of a Showgirl

Foul Play?

Flores-Narvaez missing poster
Flores-Narvaez missing poster

By Tuesday, December 21, 2010, LVMPD investigators were treating Debbie's mysterious disappearance as foul play, even though detectives remained hopeful that the search for the missing woman would have a happy outcome, Lt. Rob Lindquist told the Las Vegas Sun. Lindquist said that detectives were examining text messages, e-mails, cell phone records, and postings on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, as well as talking to family members and others. Nonetheless, Lindquist acknowledged that the case could have a negative outcome.

"She may have left on her own," Lindquist said. "However, we are taking this and treating it very seriously. At this point, we're going to look at every aspect into this investigation as if there was foul play."

Griffith, Lindquist said, was considered a person of interest in the case, but detectives were not yet considering him a suspect.

"We know he has had a relationship with Deborah, so we are still speaking with him, and we are still looking into that matter," Lindquist said. "Even though we know he had a conversation with Deborah, we are also looking into all other aspects of this investigation."

The next day, without publicly discussing their leads or evidence in the case, detectives applied for and obtained a warrant to search Griffith's home. Although they did not publicly disclose the leads that supported the search warrant, an LVMPD report showed that missing persons and homicide detectives had found a receipt from the Flying J Truck Stop located on East Cheyenne Avenue for a container of bleach and two microfiber sponges. The receipt was dated December 15, 2010, three days after Debbie had disappeared.

The New Year brought with it a major break in the mysterious case. At approximately 10:45 p.m. on January 5, 2011, Detective Garris was contacted by a colleague, Detective L. Cho, according to a police report, who told Garris that a friend had passed information to her about a witness, later identified as Kalae Casorso, who recounted that she had been approached by Jason Griffith and another person, who asked that they be allowed to store something at Casorso's apartment. Cho said that Casorso had become very upset when she asked Griffith about the plastic tub filled with concrete that Griffith and the other man, Louis Colombo, described as Griffith's roommate in police reports, had allegedly brought to Casorso's apartment because Griffith had allegedly said, "Debbie is in there."

Location where Griffiths rented the U-Haul
Location where Griffiths rented the U-Haul

As a result of the new information, investigators obtained evidence in the form of rental agreements and surveillance footage indicating that Griffith and Colombo had rented a truck and two utility dollies on December 14, 2010, at 10:52 a.m. from a U-Haul rental outlet on West Craig Road. The equipment was returned to the U-Haul outlet at 4:25 a.m. on December 16, 2010, during non-business hours, and the keys were deposited in a drop-box. Video surveillance footage depicted two males matching Griffith's and Colombo's descriptions placing the keys in the drop-box and then leaving in a black Chevrolet Cobalt.

The rental truck was equipped with a global positioning system (GPS), which allowed detectives to recreate Griffith's and Colombo's movements on the days the truck was rented to them. In the meantime, investigators obtained a recorded statement from Casorso regarding her encounter with Griffith and Colombo.

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