Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Deborah Flores-Narvaez: Death of a Showgirl


Deborah Flores-Narvaez
Deborah Flores-Narvaez

Deborah Flores-Narvaez, 31, who always went by "Debbie," left the small Las Vegas, Nev., condominium unit she had occupied for about six months on the evening of Sunday, December 12, 2010. It was 7 p.m. when she entered her maroon 1997 Chevrolet Prism bearing Maryland license plates, according to video surveillance in the parking garage of the condominium complex. Her residence is located only a couple of blocks off the Strip on Duke Ellington Way, just behind Hooters Casino Hotel on Tropicana Avenue and not far from Liberace's former home. According to police, she was wearing black knee-high boots, a dark shirt, and dark jeans. The parking garage's surveillance video also showed that she was carrying a black, medium-sized purse or bag with a shoulder strap, and a white, medium-sized gym bag.

A dancer who had performed in the Fantasy stage show at the Luxor Hotel and Casino for about a year, Flores-Narvaez had the early part of the night off and was going across town to the North Las Vegas home of her ex-boyfriend, Jason "Blu" Griffith, 32, to watch the season five finale of Showtime's hit drama, Dexter. At some point that evening, Flores-Narvaez disappeared without a trace.

Hours later, at midnight, Flores-Narvaez was scheduled for rehearsal with the Fantasy show at the Luxor, but she missed it. The rehearsal manager recorded her as a "no call no show." She also failed to show up for the show's Monday performance at 5 p.m. By then, people were becoming concerned about her well-being, and Shannon Hammitt, a friend who lived out of state, called the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) when she learned of Flores-Narvaez's failure to show up for rehearsal and a performance. Hammitt informed LVMPD dispatch about Flores-Narvaez's plans to visit with her ex-boyfriend, and patrol officers were sent to Griffith's residence, located on the 3600 block of Russian Olive Street, on December 13 to see if she had, in fact, shown up as planned.

Jason "Blu" Omar Griffith
Jason "Blu" Omar Griffith

Griffith, himself a dancer in another popular Las Vegas show, Cirque du Soleil's The Beatles LOVE — a stage show set around a compendium of Beatles songs — at The Mirage, told the officers that Flores-Narvaez had, in fact, shown up at his house and that he had last seen her on December 12 at 6 p.m. Griffith, also an aspiring rapper, told the officers that she had been fine and that she had left his residence in her Chevrolet Prism.

Later that same day, Las Vegas resident Theresa Howey called LVMPD at approximately 4:15 p.m. to report a vehicle parked in a back yard on the 4500 block of East Carey Avenue in Las Vegas, near Lamb Boulevard. The car's description closely matched that of Flores-Narvaez's car. However, given the volume of such calls received on any given day, the call wasn't linked to Flores-Narvaez's case for a couple of days. In the meantime, as far as everyone was concerned — especially Flores-Narvaez's worried family and her co-performers — Flores-Narvaez was simply missing under very suspicious circumstances.

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