PHOENIX, AZ (January 9, 2014) – More than seven years after 75 year-old Patricia Staggs was beaten to death in her home, the man alleged to be responsible for her murder has been identified and charged. Jose Manuel Muros Nevares (D.O.B. 4/20/1972), who is currently in prison for unrelated offenses, is now under indictment for one count of Burglary and one count of 1st Degree Felony Murder. Cold Case Detectives with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and the Phoenix Police Department worked together to identify the defendant and submit the case to a Grand Jury for charging.
“The indictment announced today marks an important and long awaited step toward achieving justice for a senseless and brutal murder of an innocent member of our community,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “This case is just the latest of many we expect to resolve using advanced investigatory techniques in collaboration with our law enforcement partners throughout the County,” he added.
The County Attorney’s Cold Case unit was created in 2013 and works in partnership with law enforcement agencies throughout the County to investigate unsolved homicides and bring offenders to justice. In 2012, DNA evidence collected from the scene of Patricia Staggs’ murder was submitted to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and produced a match with DNA that was taken from Jose Nevares during an unrelated contact with law enforcement.
Detectives located and interviewed Nevares in Arizona State Prison, where he was serving a sentence for a drug-related offense. Information obtained from Nevares led to his indictment.
The indictment of Nevares is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.