'No Body' homicides getting prosecuted

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by Sybil Hoffman

azfamily.com

Posted on September 6, 2011 at 10:09 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 6 at 10:11 PM

PHOENIX - There’s no scene, no weapon, not even a body but that’s not stopping the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office from moving forward with its case against suspected killer Bryan Stewart.

Chandler Police Sergeant Joe Favazzo says, "Jamie literally dropped off the grid and that just doesn't happen."

Jamie Laiaddee was like most young professionals. Active on Facebook and had many close friends. But on March 17, 2010, Jamie suddenly disappeared.

Favazzo says, "You just can't leave with nothing in today's world and not be located somewhere.”

Next month, Jamie’s Former boyfriend, Bryan Stewart will stand trial for her murder. According to the Chandler Police Report, Stewart not only confessed to killing Jamie but went on to say “the cops won’t find her body.”

Stewart also asked a fellow inmate, if he thought the cops could charge him without a body.”

Despite no body, no crime scene and no weapon, Chandler detectives brought the case to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

Favazzo says, “This is the first time we've done that here in Chandler."

Treena Kay has spent the last six years in the homicide bureau at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. She believes, "I don't think a jury no longer thinks no body, no conviction."

While Kay isn’t prosecuting the case against Stewart, she’s taken no body homicides in the past. Kay says, "When you look at a life pattern that everybody has and then it stops, you have to ask ‘why’."

That’s the strategy Chandler police used when building its case against Stewart. Favazzo says, "'We don't have a crime scene where we can say this is where the event took place but we have a totality of circumstances leading up to that can clearly lead us to believe something happened to Jamie.

That life that Jamie had prior to March 17, 2010 is what builds this case." Kay says, "Unlike a regular homicide prosecution, these jurors really get to know their victim." Kay says traditional murder trials are more black and white.

The jury can read the autopsy report and see crime photos but when there is no body, family and friends become critical to establishing the victim’s life pattern.

Kay says, "It's a better prosecution because you see so many aspects."

As for Jamie’s case, Chandler detectives believe they have a solid case and just want justice.

Favazzo says, "It's very important that we see a successful prosecution in this case and that's what we're hoping for."

Stewart’s trial is scheduled to begin on October 14.

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